Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Theatrical Design & Production (BFA)

Learn from faculty experts in this hands-on, apprenticeship-style program.

About the Undergraduate Theatrical Design & Production Major

Behind the curtain, technical theater staff create entire worlds in which actors perform. Sets, costumes, sound, and lighting all help to transport theater audiences to other times and places. Emerson College’s undergraduate Theatrical Design & Production BFA program teaches aspiring designers and crew members to master the technical dimension of their art form.

Housed in the Department of Performing Arts in the School of the Arts, the program gives you unique access to Emerson’s celebrated performance spaces, which include five professional-quality theaters. You will master your chosen craft and graduate ready to perform—because while you may be behind the curtain, your artistic presence is still very much on stage.

The Theatrical Design & Production program has given me the perfect balance of space and guidance to come into my own as a designer and as a person. This program has given me the confidence to go into the world knowing who I am and what I make.

Real-World Experience as a Theater Artist

Theatrical Design & Production majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • You will have the opportunity to work on multiple Emerson Stage productions each year. All positions are reserved exclusively for Performing Arts students: more than 120 opportunities for actors, 100 positions for design staff, 70 for production staff, and another 70 for theater management staff and 30 artistic staff.
  • Our campus is home to a vibrant student theater scene with 30 student performance organizations, including Acappellics Anonymous, Emerson Shakespeare Society, Flawless Brown, and Rareworks.
  • As the professional presentation and production organization of the Office of the Arts at Emerson College, ArtsEmerson brings industry-leading theater and film from all over the world to the heart of downtown Boston. Through master classes, networking events, discounted tickets, and free student rush, ArtsEmerson gives students the chance to learn from cutting-edge artists.
  • In your senior year, your portfolio will be reviewed by theater industry members, allowing you to receive feedback from top professionals and broaden your network.

Careers for Theatrical Design & Production Majors

Our Theatrical Design & Production graduates obtain employment in a variety of technical theater disciplines. Examples of careers include:

  • Costume Designer/Technician
  • Lighting Designer/Technician
  • Scenic Designer/Technician
  • Sound Designer/Technician

Notable Performing Arts Alumni

  • April Bartlett, Scene Designer and Art Director, April Bartlett Design
  • Tyler Kinney, Costume and Scene Designer, TDK Design Associates
  • Kirk Miller, Co-Founder, Earlybird Live Entertainment Design
  • Joshua Warner, Principal Designer and Founder, Joshua Warner Design

Emerson's Theatrical Design & Production program has allowed me to get hands-on technical theatre experience at a level that I never realized was possible. Even as a transfer student, I feel confident in my ability to work as a professional theatre artist and technician because of the experiences I have had here.