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Theatre, BFA - Area 2: Design/Technology

Theatre Bachelor of Fine Arts - Design and Technology

Is your career goal to work as a designer or technician in the theatrical field? The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, with an emphasis in Design and Technology, will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to play an exciting role in the world of theatre. 

Theatre design and technology demand versatility

Strong verbal and visual communication skills are just some of what you’ll gain at UCM. You’ll also learn how to collaborate with a team of faculty and students to meet production deadlines while using creative problem-solving skills to manage budgets and materials for productions.

Whether you want to be a master electrician, props manager or wig artisan — or you intend to pursue any other area of specialization — UCM will prepare you for your career. While earning your Theatre BFA in Design and Technology, you’ll actively hone your skills on UCM’s stages and in the real world.

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14:1 program student-to-faculty ratio

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Theatre Learning Community

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Many theatre organizations for students

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NAST-accredited program

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Near active Kansas City theatre scene

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Black Box Theatre for student-led work

What you will study

This UCM BFA focuses on theatre design and technology, but you’ll also have opportunities to act, direct and dance as part of your classwork. Take core courses in script analysis, costumes, sets, lighting and sound.

The history and philosophy of theatre are an integral part of this program. You’ll be able to focus on a specific area of design or tech as you develop the skills you’ll need for a career that encompasses multiple facets of theatrical production. Some of the exciting, hands-on courses you may take include:

  • Period Research: Learn how to research various areas of theatre design.
  • Drafting for the Theatre: Apply computer drafting techniques to projects on scenic elements and different theatre views.
  • Studio Theatre: Collaborate with fellow student directors as a technical director and designer in this 30-minute production capstone project.

Our faculty are nationally recognized theatre professionals who actively participate in regional and national organizations and festivals such as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). In our small classes, your professors share their expertise and connections to help you meet your career goals.



Unique learning opportunities in theatre design and technology

Collaboration, teamwork and technical skills are vital to any successful theatre production. Your UCM classes and extracurricular activities are designed to help you master these career essentials:

  • Technology-driven imaging: Learn how to create digital technical drawings for scenic and lighting plans using VectorWorks and AutoCad. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop your digital rendering skills using Adobe PhotoShop. Hands-on practice with UCM’s upgraded sound system and microphones and our new panoramic projector will prepare you to work in most professional theatre settings.
  • Expand your reach: UCM’s chapters of professional organizations — such as the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri (STAM) — offer technical skills development, research, events and networking. STAM, a group of education professionals and student teachers, offers design and tech students networking opportunities.
  • Theatre Learning Community: UCM’s Learning Community for first year students minoring or majoring in Theatre is located in Nickerson Hall. Students have easy access to our Black Box Theatre, dining hall and lounge for rehearsing and blocking lines. This localized, built-in community for Theatre students makes it easy to connect with like-minded peers and community advisors. 
  • Real-world experience: UCM faculty oversee the Central Missouri Repertory, a professional touring company where students create and prepare a traveling children’s show. This prepares you to apply to work in professional summer stock theatre productions between school years to gain more experience. These are just two examples of many professional opportunities you’ll have access to as you prepare for your career in theatre design.


What can you do with a Theatre Design and Technology degree from UCM?

UCM graduates with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology typically work as carpenters, stitchers, deck crew and wardrobe managers for companies such as the Santa Fe Opera, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Lyric Opera and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. 

Your bachelor’s degree will also prepare you for a career as a theatre technician for a cruise line or a freelance theatre professional specializing in scenic, costume and lighting design.

Theatre design is an exciting, ever-changing career field

Use the interactive tool below to explore the potential salaries and career pathways available to you when you earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Design and Technology.




Financial assistance options for your Theatre Design and Technology degree

The University of Central Missouri offers numerous resources to help you finance your college education and keep your student debt and college costs low. 

Beyond the general awards and scholarships available through UCM, numerous scholarships are available specifically for Theatre majors, including:

  • David R. Peerbolte Technical Theatre Scholarship
  • Charles G. and Laura Keynon Kuhn Distinguished Theatre Artist Award
  • Lucy Bergman Memorial Scholarship in Theatre
  • Theatre and Dance Ambassador Scholarship

Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to learn more about program-specific scholarships.


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Take your degree further.

Continue your theatre design studies and earn a graduate degree at UCM to increase your earning potential or further specialize your skills:

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Make yourself more marketable.

If you plan to work as a freelance designer or want to set up your own small business, you can learn to promote yourself and acquire additional career skills by adding to your BFA in Theatre Design and Technology:

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Explore programs related to theatre design and technology.

If you’re interested in theatre design but not sure what you’d like to major in at UCM, consider these related undergraduate programs:


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