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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Theatre and Dance

Theatre Design and Technology, BFA

From the drawing board to the stage, our Theatre Design and Technology Program will teach you all about the theoretical and practical sides of creating live performances.

You won't just sit back and take notes - you’ll actively participate in designing, constructing and managing our main stage productions. Whether you're considering a professional theatre career, graduate studies or a profession that requires design and tech expertise, our program will set you up for success.

Acceptance to the Theatre Design and Technology Program requires admission to WVU and a successful audition. Your audition also may qualify you for a School of Theatre and Dance scholarship.

Your Degree Plan

Intro

Students painting a design on the floor of the stage

We provide hands-on training through work on the Theatre and Dance mainstage. Working side by side with faculty, you'll develop a variety of theatre environments using the most current technology and tools available.

Our broad curriculum allows you to receive extensive training in your desired area of focus while also building other theatrical interests.

You can focus in:

  • Costume Design and Technology
  • Lighting Design and Technology
  • Scenic Design and Technology
  • Sound Design
  • Stage Management
  • Technical Direction

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Learn from nationally renowned faculty.
  • Earn while you learn with paid gigs through the West Virginia Public Theatre.
  • Work with industry-standard equipment and venues.
  • We're an official ETC Beta Test Site, giving you the chance to useget your hands on cutting-edge technology before anyone else.
Scholarships

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

Learn more

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

You’ll wrap up your undergraduate journey with a capstone project that showcases your research, communication and critical thinking skills. For your capstone, you'll take a role tailored to your passions — like stage manager, sound designer, scene designer or technical director — during a main stage production.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Attending college will prepare you for many things. The Theatre Design and Technology major will give you the following skills:

  • Small group communication: Learn to collaborate as a small design team working towards a common goal through creative problem-solving, storytelling and collaboration.
  • Leadership: Learn to lead a diverse group of individuals while focusing on time management, organizational goals, crisis management and professionalism.
  • Tangible Theatrical Skills: Learn hands-on skills like carpentry, sewing, pattern drafting, tailoring, welding, rigging, reading music and faux finishing painting techniques.
  • Technology: Learn industry standard computer programs like AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Photoshop, Lightwright, Audition, Audacity, Vision, Creative Conners, CLO3D, Google Sheets and Microsoft Suite. Lighting and sound console software including ETC, Hog, QLab and Digico.
  • Certifications: OSHA 10, First Aid/CPR and AED
  • Entrepreneurial Skills: Learn to develop a portfolio to promote yourself as freelance artist and business knowledge to succeed as a working professional.

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Where our grads are working

When you graduate, you won't just leave with expertise in your field – you'll also have the presentation skills to showcase yourself as a true artist. Our alumni are making their mark in Broadway productions, cruise ships, theme parks, classrooms and beyond. Their employers include:

  • Arena Stage
  • CJS Workshop
  • Busch Gardens
  • Alley Theatre
  • Animax Designs
  • Diversified Lighting
  • Harris Theatre for Music and Dance

Further your education

WVU School of Theatre and Dance is a member of University Resistant Theatre Association (URTA). Being a member of URTA opens our graduates up to over 45 universities for graduate school and regional theatres for consideration.

FAQs

Common questions and answers about Theatre Design and Technology.

  1. We provide semester portfolio reviews and a dedicated career prep class to prepare you for opportunities like the USITT conference, internships and job prospects.

  2. We put on six fully produced productions every year – from musicals and plays to a dance concert. You’ll also have the chance to show your creativity in black box and lab productions, where student-driven innovation takes center stage.

  3. You’ll have major production assignments every semester, starting right from day one. And if you’re interested in the world of design, we’ve got undergraduate design opportunities waiting for you.

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
Featurette - Scene Shop

Theatrical Scene Shop

The scene shop for the School of Theatre and Dance features two, 4,000-square-foot levels housing scenery, props, painting, lighting and sound production. Comprised of wood- and metal-working equipment and a 60’x23’ paint frame that travels between the shops.

Featurette - Costume Sketches

Theatrical Costume Studio

The School of Theatre and Dance costume studio is set up to meet all the demands of our fully produced productions. The studio contains industry standard equipment, including 16 high-end commercial sewing machines and sergers, as well as three industrial machines. The costume studio contains spaces for classes and for production work. Areas include dying, crafts, wigs, fittings and cutting and draping.

  • Virtual Tour
    It's the next-best thing to being here – you can virtually tour residence halls and the WVU Morgantown Campus.
  • Student Life
    You will have it all here — epic traditions, quality academics and a supportive community that feels like home.
  • Visit
    Experience WVU in person and start imagining life as a Mountaineer!

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Theatre Design and Technology major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Theatre Design and Technology at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees

Scholarships

Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

Find Scholarships

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

Visit the Net Price Calculator

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Theatre Design and Technology major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to Theatre Design and Technology can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

Learn More

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

Request Info

Want to know more about Theatre Design and Technology at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

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