Three Penny Opera Set Under Construction

BFA – Production and Design

Become a creator in the world of theatre.

Acquire the wide range of skills that will open doors to professional opportunities in design and technical production for the theatre and related industries.

About the Program

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 the option to focus in various areas including scenic, costume, hair and makeup, lighting or sound, 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.

What You Will Learn

‌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, stagecraft, 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

Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications. You will work 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.

Production 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.

Production and Design Curriculum

Production Opportunities

‌BFA 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.

Our Faculty

Best Little Whorehouse production

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.

Faculty – Production and Design

Jumpstart Your Career

42nd street promo

From working on productions at Peak Performances to the Department of Theatre and Dance’s acclaimed productions, collaborate with professionals on set to gain hands-on experiences at the university’s numerous performance spaces and auditoriums.

Students have opportunities to hone their skills on productions on- and off- campus in:

  • Designing scenery and props
  • Using drafting, rendering and model-making skills in scenic design
  • Designing hair and makeup
  • Designing lighting and sound
  • Costume, scenic, lighting and sound technologies
  • Stage management
  • Production management

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, and are encouraged 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.

Career development is an integral part of the student experience at College of the Arts and a seasoned team of professionals is available to help place students with internships, and job search assistance, and offer resume review and career planning services.

Careers in Production and Design

Theatre Facilities

‌Montclair 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.

‌Production 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.

‌The university supports an outstanding broadcasting studio (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

Apply Now

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

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.