BFA - Production and Design

Department of Theatre and Dance

Production and Design main page

Program Coordinator: Prof. Debra Otte; 973-655-7680



BFA Production and Design: The Big Picture

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production and Design is a pre-professional program that prepares the next generation of designers, managers, and technicians for work in professional theatre, live entertainment, and related media, including film and television.

Through a combination of classroom instruction and production opportunities, the program provides rigorous progressive training in design, production, and technology with emphasis on scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design; scenic and costume technology; as well as performance and theatre management.

Students benefit from immediate, close relationships with professionally active faculty and guest artists who promote theoretical and applied learning in the classroom, backstage, and in the field. An extensive practicum exposes students to a broad range of practical, meaningful career-building experiences. 

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What You Will Study

Prod Design: What you will study

The BFA in Production and Design program consists of 120 credits, including 82 credits in the major and 25-31 credits in General Education. The program’s core curriculum includes instruction in:

  • Graphic and Design Skills, including rendering, figure drawing, and drafting (mechanical drawing and CAD/Vectorworks)
  • Design Research, including history of style, history of theatre, and humanities
  • Crafts, including skills recognized as separate areas of expertise, such as stage management, technical direction, stage craft, scenic painting, costume craft and construction, sound and lighting technologies, prop construction
  • Liberal Arts and Dramatic Literature, including General Education subjects and electives that cover text analysis from the director’s and designer’s points of view
  • Rehearsal and Production, the culmination of craft and skill, imagination and research, script and history, and process and collaboration 

For complete BFA Production and Design curriculum requirements, go to:

For policies regarding continuation in the program, go to:

For the student handbook go to:

To learn more about Careers in Production and Design, go to:

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Production Opportunities

Prod Design: OpportunitiesBFA Production and Design majors have access to a wide range of on- and off-campus experiences and opportunities. These include:

  • Designing scenery, costumes, makeup, lights or sound for the department's productions
  • Using drafting, rendering, and model-making skills in scenic design
  • Designing costumes and makeup
  • Designing lighting and sound
  • Rigging, welding, and carpentry
  • Stage management
  • Production management

Additional opportunities include working on professional/international productions through Montclair’s Peak Performances series – an internationally acclaimed program of eclectic theatre, dance, and music productions. Students also are able to work during summer breaks as apprentices with established area theatres.

The Department of Theatre and Dance produces 7-10 musicals and plays, as well as three dance concerts, each year. Visit our Productions and Student-Work Gallery pages to see examples of current and past student production and design work.

Students learn by watching as well as doing. You will be able to attend more than 500 professional events on campus each year, including those presented by the Theatre and Dance Department as well as by Montclair’s Peak Performances program of theatre, dance, and music productions. Students are admitted FREE to these campus events.

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Our Faculty

More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals share insights gleaned from their professional experiences in the "real world" of theatre with students in studio workshops, seminars, and lectures. Faculty mentoring can often lead to opportunities beyond the classroom.

Click the links below to learn more:

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Theatre Facilities

Prod Design: FacilitiesMontclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications. You will perform in six well-equipped theatres, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre. 

This exceptional range of performance spaces reflects industry opportunities and prepares students for future performances in a variety of settings.

Prod Design: Facilities 2Production and Design majors have access to:

  • Two Scene Shops -- each equipped to support on-campus productions. The Life Hall/Memorial Auditorium Shop is dedicated to classroom and department productions. The Alexander Kasser Theatre Shop is dedicated to academic and professional performances in this state-of-the-art facility.
  • Costume Shop  -- located in the back of Memorial Auditorium and featuring a view of New York City, the shop is both a classroom and production space where students and staff produce more than 400 costumes each year.

Prod Design: Facilities 3The university supports an outstanding broadcasting studio (go to DuMont Television Center) where Production and Design students – particularly those concentrating in sound and lighting design and technology -- may gain experience in film and broadcasting



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Awards and Accreditations

Prod Design: AwardsBFA Production and Design students regularly win the highest awards in Design, Technology and Management through the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. At the national level, students have won both the Barbizon Award in Costume Design and the National Stage Management Award. At the regional level, students have received numerous design awards, certificates of merit in craft and wardrobe, and have won the Region II Tech Olympics Award several times. 

The BFA Production and Design program meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)  – a distinction that places us among the nation’s most competitive programs.

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Apply Now

To apply to the BFA Production and Design Program, or to any Department of Theatre and Dance program, please visit Department Admissions.

Please review the BFA Production and Design Handbook for details about the program, protocols, and information. 

For additional information about our programs, please visit us to tour the facilities and/or plan to attend one of our Arts Days and Open Houses.

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Additional Design Programs

The College of the Arts offers additional programs for students interested in studying design. Click on the links below for more information.

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