Theatre Major: Design & Theatre Technology Option (B.A.)

Theatre Major: Design & Theatre Technology Option (B.A.)

Theater design students working on theatrical lighting

What is design and theatre technology?

If you want to be part of the magic of theatre – crafting the costumes, scenery, lighting, sound and set designs that transport audiences – design and theatre technology is for you. This option in the theatre degree program at UNH will prepare you for a wide range of careers as you study the history of theatre and technical elements of design, building skills in your area of interest.

Why study design and theatre technology at UNH?

In addition to our award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 performance opportunities every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts. As a student in the design and theatre technology program, you may have the opportunity take on stage production design assignments for these productions. You’ll also be able to pursue independent studies and you’ll be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatre or dance organizations. Our Cultural Stages program brings acclaimed playwrights, choreographers and other theatre artists from around the world to campus.

Potential careers

  • Costume designer or technician
  • Lighting designer or technician
  • Master electrician
  • Props manager
  • Scenic designer
  • Stage manager
  • Technical director


Jamie Clavet

Marketing & Promotions Specialist
Phone: (603) 862-2150
Office: Theatre & Dance, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm D22, Durham, NH 03824

Department of Theater and Dance
Paul Creative Arts Center
University of New Hampshire
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2919
Fax: (603) 862-0298

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Curriculum & Requirements

Design and theatre technology students who show significant progress and ability may earn the opportunity to demonstrate practical application of their studies through the department’s main stage production design assignments. Through classwork, production assignments and problem-solving, this option prepares students for both practical skills and aesthetic sensibilities needed for the creation of visual and technical elements for the performing arts. The challenging coursework provides both fundamental knowledge and critical thinking practice, which are skills that help students pursue a successful profession in theatre and related fields; the core principles of hard work, problem-solving and creativity are transferable to other career paths as well. UNH-trained graduates hold careers across the nation as designers, technical directors, stage managers, property masters, head electricians and scenic artists.

Contact Szu-Feng Chen, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-4445,

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course. Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
or THDA 438 History of Theatre II
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I4
or THDA 463 Theatre Dance I
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A- D) 14-8
THDA 799Capstone Project2
Select 12 credits of the following:12
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
THDA 641
Stage Management
THDA 652
Scene Design
Select 12 credits of the following:12
THDA 458
Costume Construction
THDA 475
Stage Makeup
THDA 541
Art and Theatre Administration
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA #547
Stage Properties
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
THDA 641
Stage Management
THDA 650
Scene Painting for the Theatre
THDA 651
Rendering for the Theatre
THDA 652
Scene Design
THDA 741
Select 8 credits of the following:8
ARTS 455
Architectural Design Studio
ARTS 525
Introductory Woodworking
ARTS 532
Introductory Drawing
ARTS 546
Painting Design I: Perceptual Painting and Color Theory
THDA 532
The London Experience
THDA 583
Introduction to Puppetry
THDA #691
THDA 791
and Internship in Theatre and Dance
THDA 795
THDA 796
Independent Study
and Independent Study
ENGL 657
ENGL 758
Advanced Shakespeare
Total Credits58-62

Explore Program Details

All students completing a major in the Department of Theatre and Dance should:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the development of theatre or dance through historical and literary study.
  • Develop a working knowledge of important artistic works that shaped the evolution of theatre or dance.
  • Develop a working knowledge of and demonstrate an ability to apply a fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production, including various areas related to performance, design, technology, and management.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze literary, scholarly and artistic works related to theatre or dance.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write with technical and analytical skill as well as artistic insight on theory, philosophy and artistry related to theatre or dance.

Option-Specific Learning Outcomes:

In addition to the department-wide learning outcomes for THDA students in theatre, upon completion of the major a THDA student in the Design and Theatre Technology option will demonstrate:

  • Understand and apply the general principles and practices for each design/ tech area (set, costume, lighting, sound, and technical theatre).
  • Apply the knowledge, techniques, and technologies gained through the years of study to theatrical production creations.
  • Demonstrate the skills of script analysis, research, and critical thinking for design development.
  • Develop both conceptual creative process and practical problem-solving skills for artistic work.
  • Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration skills through writing, speaking, and visual presentation.
  • Develop critical assessment skills to evaluate the work of other students and to show improvement on their own work as a result of the collective feedback process.

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thompson hall in summer
student at Career Event