Theatre Design and Technology, B.F.A.

This tool should only be used as a guide — remember to meet with your academic adviser, Career Services and/or faculty to determine appropriate career options.

Put your technical theatre and design skills in the spotlight at Oakland University.

Our technical theatre degree brings attention to students who work behind the scenes. We’ll provide you with exceptional opportunities to showcase your talent and develop the professional polish required for technical theatre jobs. You’ll get expert instruction from industry veterans who have active technical theatre careers in lighting, costumes, set design, sound, stage management, and other specialties. In our technical theatre program you’ll play meaningful roles in production from your freshman year onward, building marketable skills and hands-on experience that can help you get your first technical theatre job. Our graduates routinely succeed in the industry, building technical theatre careers with touring companies, regional theatres, theme parks, corporate expos, and even on Broadway.

Theatre Design and Technology Degree: The Oakland University Advantage

Technical theatre jobs require superior interpersonal skills, and that’s one of Oakland University’s biggest strengths. You’ll be part of a tight-knit community in our technical theatre and design program, getting lots of one-on-one attention from faculty and support from your peers. In addition, our technical theatre and design degree enables you to:

  • Gain production experience immediately. You won’t have to wait a year or two to join a production crew. Our technical theatre and design degree requires extensive first-hand experience, so you’ll get meaningful assignments starting as a freshman. With more than 150 shows every year in music, theatre, and dance, our performance schedule offers enough opportunity for everyone to get involved.
  • Work in professional facilities. Our theatrical stages, concert hall, design shops, and other facilities are equipped with the same technology that’s used in the industry. You’ll work with high-caliber production systems that give you direct preparation for technical theatre jobs.
  • Connect with professional arts organizations. Technical theatre and design majors at Oakland University routinely collaborate with local theatre, music, and dance companies. You may work on a production crew, participate in design, assist with outreach or educational activities, or serve in another capacity.
  • Learn from experienced faculty. Our technical theatre professors excel as educators and artists. You’ll learn from seasoned craftspeople who have years of experience, strong industry connections, and professional insights that you can’t find in any textbook.
  • Get varied experience. You’ll work in every facet of production, including costumes, lighting, sound, stage direction, set design, props, and house management. We offer a well-rounded degree that lays the foundation for whatever type of technical theatre career interests you.    

Technical Theatre Careers

Oakland University graduates have an excellent record of achievement in technical theatre careers. Many of our alumni work for performing arts centers and arts organizations, but you may also find opportunities in museum exhibition, corporate trade shows, digital media, broadcasting, tourism, and other industries.

Depending on your area of academic focus, you can pursue technical theatre jobs in areas such as:

  • Production design
  • Set design
  • Lighting
  • Makeup
  • Costume design
  • Stage management
  • Sound production
  • Special effects

Technical Theatre and Design Degree: What You’ll Study

To gain admission to the technical theatre and design BFA program, you must first complete a portfolio review. After completing initial coursework, you will then complete a second review to proceed to upper-level courses.

Required coursework in the technical theatre and design degree covers areas such as:

  • Theatre history
  • Architecture and fashion
  • Drafting and drawing
  • Elements of design
  • Stagecraft
  • Costumes
  • Lighting
  • Sets and scenery
  • Stage management
  • Technical direction

The technical theatre program concludes with a professional internship, study abroad, or two capstone courses.

  • My future career:

    Scenic Designer

  • My future career:

    Costume Designer

  • My future career:

    Acting Coach

  • My future career:

    Actor

  • My future career:

    Voiceover artist

    • Career & Salary Information
    • Possible Career Options
    • Median Salary*
    • Education Needed
    • For More Information**

    * Median salary for the state of Michigan

    ** These professional organizations provide an excellent starting point for your research. There are many more resources available online.

    • Actor
    • Acting coach
    • Voiceover artist
    • Singer
    • Vocal coach
    • Dancer
    • Choreographer
    • Freelance performer
    • Casting director
    • Television performer
    • Theatrical director
    • Costume designer
    • Scenic designer
    • Lighting designer
    • Makeup artist
    • Film producer
    • Playwright
    • Screenwriter
    • Theatre historian
    • Arts manager
    • Arts marketer  
    • Arts researcher
    • Arts reviewer and many more