Are you interested in behind-the-scenes work in the theatre arts? Appalachian State University’s Theatre Arts (BA) - Theatre Design/Technology degree prepares students for work in the entertainment production industry – from costuming and makeup, scenery and props, lighting and sound, and stage management. The curriculum offers hands-on design and technician experience.
This degree serves students who desire a more focused program than the Theatre Arts (BA) - General Theatre degree. If you don’t mind being a hard worker, there are plenty of jobs in this field. Students find employment in theater and entertainment companies, as well as cruise ships, theme parks and architectural firms.
The Department of Theatre and Dance has performances almost every week during the academic year, and students implement all technical elements of these productions. Paid employment opportunities in the department’s Scene Shop and Costume Shop provide opportunities for even more experience, as do summer opportunities in professional theater. Also, each year students in the program travel to the United States Institute of Theatre Technology Conference for further specialized training, networking and job interviews.
Watch a time-lapse video of students at work on 2014’s “Kiss Me, Kate.”
Employment: Our students have been employed at a variety of theater companies, including:
- Glimmerglass Festival Opera
- Utah Shakespearean Festival
- Barter Theatre
- Santa Fe Opera
- Flat Rock Playhouse
- North Carolina Shakespeare Festival
- Texas Shakespeare Festival
- Utah Festival Opera.
In addition, graduates also find employment in other industries including cruise ships, theme parks, architectural firms, and entertainment companies such as Cirque du Soleil or Disney.
Graduate Schools: Those pursuing graduate school have been accepted at well-respected graduate programs including UNC School of the Arts, Cincinnati College and Conservatory of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill, Boston University and Yale University.
A minor is required. Students choose to minor in a variety of fields. Some of these minor programs include:
- Apparel and Textiles
- Studio Art
- Art History
- Commercial Photography
- General Business
Engagement Outside the Classroom
A variety of clubs in the department include technical theatre, musical theatre, and dance. These clubs are active in producing works and performances.
An active theatre production season each year features student actors, designers, technicians, and more.
Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT) performs for young people and in 2012 celebrated 40 years of touring shows to schools and other venues in North Carolina.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
This program sponsors one regularly scheduled study abroad program: Theatre in Europe Past and Present.
Students interested in this major must complete an admission interview with the Theatre and Dance design/technology faculty and staff prior to admission to the program.
New students may apply and interview in either the Fall or the Spring semester. You are encouraged to bring any portfolio materials you may have for informal sharing during this interview.
- This program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
- Appalachian has no graduate program in theatre, so students learn alongside their peers, competing on an even playing field in programs designed for undergraduates.
- Because the Department of Theatre and Dance houses two arts areas, students have freedom to explore performance and production from multiple vantage points.
- This program is flexible enough to allow work in specialized focused areas for interested students.
- Our students have been consistently recognized by the Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival for excellence in both design and technical work.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
Some of these jobs may require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.
- College Teacher
- Creative Director
- Director, Arts Council
- Director, Nonprofit Arts Organization
- Set designerc
- Stage Manager
- Talent Scout
- Theater Camp Director
- Theater Teacher