AdmissionsU.S.News Best Colleges 2011

Theatrical Design & Production

Be the creative force

The theatrical design and production program emphasizes engaged learning and hands on practices. You are encouraged to get involved on our productions during your first year. Throughout your educational journey you will put your skills and talent to the test by participating in our musicals, plays, dance concerts, student productions, musical revues, and professional quality workshops.

The design and production faculty at Elon combine national and international professional theatre experience with a passion for teaching and mentoring. They work closely with students and help them identify their talents, sharpen their skills, and deepen their appreciation and understanding of all aspects of theatre.  The faculty encourages students to make valuable professional contacts through national and regional conferences, professional internships, participation in design competitions, and professional workshops related to our discipline.

Elon University’s theatrical design and production faculty will help you thrive at the highest level within our industry.  Whether it’s stage management, costume design, lighting design, sound design, or scenic technologies the experience you gain at Elon will help you in professional theatre, film, or television.  The opportunity to learn and grow as a theatre artist is alive and well within our program and we are always looking for the next great theatre artist.

“I had an opportunity to work in all aspects of the technical field, as well as experience life on campus. There are opportunities in the department that I believe you cannot get in a larger campus or at a conservatory, where you usually don’t get to have a major role on a show until your junior or senior year.”

Matthew Leckenbusch ’03

Technical Director at Clemson University

Well-rounded curriculum

Elon’s Bachelor of Arts degree in theatrical design and production is a well-rounded program designed to give our majors a solid foundation in all aspects of theatre production, design, theatre history and literature. Course offerings include technical production, scenic design, lighting design, sound design, costume design and construction, stage management, properties design and construction, scene painting, and stagecraft.

The Department of Performing Arts offers minors in theatre arts and dance, which complement the theatrical design and production program.

Skilled faculty

Faculty within the Elon theatrical design and production program have a vast array of professional credits covering Broadway productions, professional theatres throughout the nation, region and abroad, and with credits that extend into television and film, they are dedicated to sharing that expertise with you. The mentoring relationships they build with students continue long after graduation and the professional contacts they maintain are invaluable in our alumni in helping them move from the academic world into the professional one.

Interviews for admission

A personal one on one interview with the design and production faculty that is accompanied by your design and production portfolio is required for entry to the B.A. theatrical design and production program.

View a list of upcoming interview dates.

Early Experience

At Elon, you will put your skills and talents to work in our productions beginning your first semester. Students are involved in all aspects of the production process, from design, construction, stage management, and production crew. All the while making key decisions through out the production process from concept to the final curtain. Work/study positions are available in the scenic and costume shops, as well as working for Elon University’s cultural programs office.

First-rate facilities

The theatrical design and production program is housed in the Center for the Arts, a 75,000-square-foot facility specifically designed for teaching and performance. The centerpiece stage is McCrary Theatre, a fully equipped performance space that seats 570. The 85 seat Black Box Theatre can be configured to any arrangement, from proscenium to arena. The newly added Scotts Studios houses a fully configurable back box theatre with state of the art technology that includes LED lighting and a professional audio system.

On and off campus scene shops, costume shops, and a design studio give our students hands on access to the tools, equipment and industry standard software utilized in theatrical design and production.  Our production facilities feature a CNC robotic router table, a 1-6 scale theatre lab, state of the art lighting consoles and up to date sound and video editing software.

Professional experience

Through internships, summer theatre work and on-campus productions; you will have the opportunity to gain professional and practical experiences before you graduate. Design and production students are encouraged to work professionally between the spring and fall semesters at summer stock theatres throughout the United States. Elon’s involvement with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology as well as the Southeastern Theatre Conference provides our students with the opportunity to interview with dozens of professional companies each year. Before graduation our students have had the hands on experience that has allowed them to build an impressive portfolio and make the professional contacts needed in order to help you begin your professional career.

Elon students and Alumni are working and have worked at our industries top venues and companies such as:

  • Cirque Du Soleil
  • Broadway productions of Wicked, The Last Ship, Side Show, Violet
  • Off Broadway Productions of Nobody Loves You and Little Miss Sunshine
  • 54 Below Broadway Nightclub
  • Clemson University
  • B-Street Theatre
  • Mill Mountain Theatre
  • Alvin Ailey Dance Company
  • Santa Fe Opera
  • Berkshire Theatre Group
  • Lakes Region Summer Theatre
  • Heritage Repertory Theatre
  • Seaside Music Theatre
  • Main Street Summer Theatre
  • Virginia Opera
  • Ringling Brothers Circus
  • Georgia Shakespeare
  • Williamstown Theatre Festival
  • Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Alumni from Elon’s design and production program have continued their education, attending some of the most prestigious graduate program in the Untied States, including:

  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Ohio University

Study away

Design and Production majors frequently supplement their on-campus studies by participating in Elon’s nationally ranked study abroad program. In recent years, students have completed classical studies in Italy, London, Spain and Greece.  In addition, students participate in domestic study programs in Las Angles and New York City, where they combined classroom training with valuable internship experiences.

After graduation

A theatrical design and production degree opens doors to professional positions within a variety of disciplines. Elon’s job placement rate is excellent and the majority of graduates enter the professional world in stage management, production, design, arts management, casting direction, lighting and technical direction.  Design and production students may also seek to enter graduate school provided with the tools necessary to gain acceptance into the top graduate schools in the country.

Regardless of the path you choose after Elon, the career preparation and coaching you will receive in Elon’s theatrical design and production program will make you a valuable commodity in the professional theatre field.

Visit the Department of Performing Arts Website.

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