Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Theatre BFA - Design/Technology Concentration

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Your life is not a dress rehearsal. This is your chance to follow your dreams and do what you love. UB’s theatre program is for anyone who wants to be surrounded by the unmatched creativity and tight-knit community that you’ll find in the theater, along with all the academic opportunities you’ll get from a world-class research university. Whether you crave the spotlight-or you prefer being in the director’s chair, behind the scenes or writing about the arts-there’s a place for you here. 

Visit the Theatre academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Theatre and Dance department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Admission for the Theatre BFA: Design/Technology concentration requires an audition. Please visit the Audition Registration to schedule an audition.

Course Requirements

Theatre Design/Technology Core (57 credits)

Two Upper Level Design courses (6 credits)


*Please note that there is a course fee associated with introductory and advanced design courses.

UB Seminar courses cannot count towards major requirements.

Total Credits Required for Major: 85

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This should not be used for financial aid purposes.

Academic Requirements

Minimum 2.333 (C+) in all courses that fulfill a major requirement.

Practical application of coursework is an integral part of the Theatre BFA, Design/Technology Concentration. At a minimum, BFA students must complete four practicums, which include various design and technical assignments for departmental productions. Students apply for design positions each semester; those who are assigned a production will support those practicum with mentored seminars and laboratory time. All BFA students must choose one supplemental field of study in which to complete their three additional electives, as noted in the requirements below. Theatre BFA students also maintain their place in the program through periodic evaluations and reviews by faculty members. Regularized mentorship prepares the student for graduate study or a professional career.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

First Year Fall

Total Credits: 16 or 17

First Year Spring

Total Credits: 16 or 17

Second Year Fall

Total Credits: 15

Second Year Spring

Total Credits: 18

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 13

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 12

Fourth Year Fall

Total Credits: 15

Fourth Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

Scenographic Practice

(Theatrical Design: Costumes, light, projection, sets, and sound)

  • Visual Imagination - Simultaneity of analytical and abstract thinking used to produce art in response to a text. Fearlessness in artistic expression based on ability to clearly articulate a design concept
  • Graphic Communication Clarity of design ideas expressed through visuals: drafts, renderings, and models, light plots, etc.
  • Research Methods - Period Styles; Use of resources (print & digital) effectively to support a design idea

Theatrical Production

(Fabrication and Engineering of Elements and Systems for the Stage)

  • Materiality
  • Craftsmanship
  • Ability to move the theoretical to reality multiple solutions to a technical problem are explored
  • Identifying high and low tech solutions to design problems, and knowing the value of one over the other
  • Understandings the role of aesthetics in the engineering of clothes and scenery, appreciating the importance of function (as in physical requirements) and appearance (as to appropriately communicate a design idea to an audience)

Organization and Time Management

  • Ability to bring thought to action
  • Interpersonal dynamics: ability to listen and be heard
  • Situation assessment and ability to formulate questions
  • Supporting an ensemble and honoring the importance of the individual (essential cog in the production engine)
  • Ability to create a prompt book, show bible, working drawings, and signal paths


  • Establishing good working relationships such as:
  • Between director/choreographer and design team in the creation of an original staged work
  • Between the performer, space, sound and light in order to convey theme/story/idea
  • Between designer and technician (a shop)
  • Working outside your comfort zone; ability to dovetail your thinking to someone else’s point of view
  • Visual storytelling

Production Theory & Protocol

  • Industry standards as set forth by: Actors’ Equity Association, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, League of Resident Theatres, United Scenic Artists, the United States Institute for Theatre Technologies, Broadway and National Tours
  • Observation learning as industry professionals cross-pollinate with students in lab environments


(HEGIS: 10.07 DRAMATIC ARTS, CIP50.0501 Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General)


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