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Production and Design

If your passion for theatre often shines behind the scenes, our Production and Design emphasis was made for you. You’ll study and practice theatre management, technical theatre, and design for the stage.

From calling the show to learning specialized makeup techniques, from circuiting theatrical lights to building scenery, you’ll develop a skill set that’s needed and desired in all forms of the entertainment and arts industries.

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A full stage shot of Peter and the Starcatcher set with a group of actors

Program Overview

Being a part of the Theatre Arts Department at Dordt University means more than just earning a degree. Through this program, you will become part of a community that shares the same passions that you have.

While you’ll take a number of theatre classes to help you develop a breadth and width of knowledge and experience, you’ll dig into the nuts and bolts of theatre through classes like Design Theory, Art History, Drawing, and Painting.

Actors in Peter and the Starcatcher shine flashlights

What You'll Learn

The Production and Design Emphasis focuses on helping you prepare for a career as producer, designer, stage manager, or other similar roles. Your coursework will give you the tools you need to bring excellence to the backstage work of any production you may be involved in.

What You Can Do With A Production and Design Emphasis

Upon graduation, you’ll have the skills and tools you need to jump into the theatre arts job market. The Production and Design major equips you to work as a producer, designer, technical director, events manager, and more.

Producer

Producers launch projects and oversee all aspects of the production.

Costume Designer

Costume Designers use their creative thinking skills to articulate pieces of clothes that are worn by characters in a production or performance.

Lighting Consultant

A Lighting Consultant is tasked with fitting lighting fixtures to both small and large spaces.

Students who choose the production and design emphasis will complete four art courses and four theatre arts courses in addition to completing the general requirements for a theatre arts degree.

  • Design Theory: Manipulation of two-dimensional design through the use of the basic art elements: line, shape, value, color, texture, and space. The course is intended to develop a visual vocabulary and an imaginative approach to design.
  • Drawing I: Acquiring the basic skills of drawing through an objective investigation of reality. Common media and tools are used.
  • Painting I: An introduction to painting, emphasizing techniques and methods of communicating ideas visually. Class size is limited.
  • Art History: Ancient and Medieval: This course is the first of a three-semester survey of the history of the visual arts. It investigates the role of the visual arts in the historical and cultural development of world civilization between prehistory and the 14th century.
  • Art History: 14th to 19th Centuries: This course is the second of a three-semester survey of the history of art. It covers the history of architecture, painting, and sculpture from the 14th century through the 19th century.
  • Art History: Contemporary Art and Architecture: This is the third course in a historical survey of art and architecture. The course will begin with the foundations of modernism in the last half of the 19th century and then cover the plurality of styles in the 20th century.
  • Non-Western Art History: This course studies non-European art and culture including Islamic, Japanese, and Chinese art.
  • Sound Design and Technologies: Students will explore the physics and technology of sound. We will develop a basic understanding of how sound works in our day to day lives, discuss the technologies and tools used to control sound, and develop an understanding of how we might use this knowledge to create artistic, theatrical experiences.
  • Lighting Design and Technologies: Students will explore lighting theory, and engage in lighting design practices for the theatre. The hands-on nature of the curriculum will enable students to feel comfortable with, and be employable in an introductory position in the field of lighting design.
  • Makeup Design: This course covers the materials, principles, and practices of makeup design and application for theatre and film.
  • Costume Design: The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to costume design. Students will learn the costume design process from the analysis of a script to the final color rendering. Students will gain a basic understanding of costume history, script analysis, design theory, and basic rendering skills.

See the course catalog for more information.

Ready to take the next step?

Theatre Arts Center

While studying production and design, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt’s Theatre Arts Center. This location houses a theatre space, scene shop, make-up room, classroom, and the Fourth Avenue Theatre, a black box performance space which seats up to 140 audience members.

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six female dancers line up while dancing during performance

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Still looking for the right fit? Here are some additional program options that we think might interest you or are often paired with this program. You can also view the programs page to keep exploring your options.