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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Design Courses

theatre department

THTR 1130 Elements of Theatre Production I (Spring: 3 credits)
Jacqueline Dalley
Crystal Tiala
Elements I introduces the history, theory and practice of technical theatre production through lectures, discussion, observation and hands-on experience. The class consists of two paths of learning. The first will be practicing the necessary skills for the preparation of scenery, props, costumes and lights. You will be required to learn to safely use many tools, rig scenery, stitch, cut, hang and focus lighting equipment. The second path for the course is to develop your literacy in the visual design elements as it applies to theatre and theatrical spaces. A number of exercises will expand your visualization and creative skills.

The course will focus on the collaborative nature of theatrical art and design. It is required for theatre majors, but it is also open to interested non-majors by permission.


THTR 1140 Elements of Theatre Production II (Fall: 3 credits)
Prerequisite: THTR 1130 or permission of the instructor
Jacqueline Dalley
Crystal Tiala
Jeff Adelberg
The course is a continuation of the Elements of Theatre Production I class. In addition to learning more of the basic knowledge and skills necessary for the preparation and execution of theatrical production work, students will use class projects to begin creating designs for the stage. The final project will focus on scenic, costume, lighting and sound design. In addition, Elements II in combination with the Theatre Production Laboratory will introduce you to skills necessary for the preparation and execution of lights, sound, painting and make-up for stage productions.


THTR 2247 Makeup Design for the Stage (Spring: 3 credits)
Jacqueline Dalley
This course introduces students to basic makeup techniques for the stage. Students will study both makeup design principles, and develop a mastery of applied techniques. Using the theories of highlight and shadow, and an examination of facial anatomy and how it changes with age, the student will lean to change the look of the face to suit different characters. Emphasis will be placed on character analysis and research, and translating that into a makeup design. Time will also be given to study various styles of makeup (e.g. fantasy, cartoon, period makeup, etc.) and special effect makeup.

The class will consist of in-class, hands-on training through demonstration and practice, and approximately seven graded projects that require a range of skills and creation of a variety of character types. Students will be required to complete makeup charts (drawings of the makeup designs) and a character analysis with each project. In addition students are required to compile a research notebook of faces to aid in the understanding of facial anatomy and aging, as well as a springboard for designing makeup. Students are required to purchase their own makeup kits and will be applying makeup to their own faces.


THTR 2244 Computer Aided Drafting and Design (3 credits)
Cross listed with FS 248 and CO 248
Crystal Tiala
This course will use VectorWorks software to introduce students to 2-dimensional drafting and 3-dimensional modeling for a theatrical stage/architectural design context. Projects will include drafting in orthographic projection, 3-D modeling in wire-frame, quality renderings with realistic textures and dramatic lighting and shadowing, and fully textured and animated presentations including ‘fly-over’ and ‘walk-through’ effects. Computer-aided drafting and design technology is an indispensable design tool for theatrical, architectural, mechanical, industrial, and landscape design.


THTR 3349 Lighting Design for the Stage (Fall; Alternating Years: 3 credits)
Prerequisites: THTR 1130 and THTR 1140
Jeff Adelberg
This course will introduce the art and process of Lighting Design for all types of theatrical performance. Students will explore the properties of light, photometrics, color theory, and human response to light. This will be followed by learning the designer's approach to the text, the process of creating designed light for each moment of a production, and a standardized method of realizing a design. Students will be required to attend and critique both academic and professional productions.


THTR 3344 Stage Design I (Spring: 3 credits)
Prerequisite: Studio art experience preferred
Crystal Tiala
This course will concentrate on contemporary professional design practices and theories for the stage. Students will study the evolution of theatre design and will investigate the development of imagistic design forms, produce effective spatial environments and create ideas through rigorous research of imagery. Processes will include script analysis and the study of imagery as well as techniques in drafting and model building.


THTR 3347 Costume Design (Spring: 3 credits)
Prerequisite: THTR 1140 is recommended, or permission of instructor
Jacqueline Dalley
The art of costume design integrates artistic imagination with the practical concerns of theatrical production. This course is designed to help students develop the fundamental skills used by costume designers, focusing particular attention on character analysis, period research, and visual communication. This course will include a series of exercises and projects to develop skills in figure drawing, rendering in various media, fabric selection and color. Students will learn how to communicate character, mood and style through costume following two learning tracks: (1) developing the design (concept and theory), and (2) communicating the design (figure drawing and rendering).

Projects consist of costume designs for a variety of plays, including modern, period and fantasy designs. Students will learn to develop style in their designs through and understanding of basic design elements and the understanding of fabric as the designer’s media. The various steps leading to the final designs will be studied in depth. Focus will also be given to research of period and style. Costume construction is not part of this course.

Students are not required to have advanced drawing skills to take this class. Drawing techniques will be taught, focusing on figure drawing and how the figure is changed through clothing, in order for students to be able to communicate their design ideas. There are several class sessions devoted to learning and practicing drawing and painting techniques.


THTR 5540 Theatre Practicum in Design (Fall/Spring: 3 credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of sponsoring instructor
Jacqueline Dalley
Crystal Tiala
This is a senior project involving the design of sets, lights, costumes, and/or sound for a departmental mainstage production. Candidates are selected in the second semester of their junior year and will discuss the scope of the project with the faculty. Consultation with the faculty will determine whether the student enrolls in the Practicum in the fall or the spring semester of their senior year. Consideration for enrollment will be given to those students who have successfully completed the design sequence of Elements of Theatre Production I and II, the relevant upper level design course in scenic, lighting or costume design and has completed a student workshop design.