The M.F.A. in Theatre Technology aims to graduate highly competent technical directors who are equipped for successful careers in the innovative discipline of theatre technology. The program emphasizes key themes to foster success:
- Problem-solving and management skills through courses in technical management, structural design and analysis, and construction and production management.
- Communication skills through a positive collaborative environment in courses and stage productions, and through technical writing and training to gain computer-aided drafting skills.
- Modern technology and industry trends through courses in electronics and controls for theatre, mechanical scenery, and theatrical and arena rigging.
- Technical research that studies perennial scenery challenges, and solutions, to nurture new ideas and an innovative spirit of technical direction and production.
Our program presents you with a blend of modern skills and design sensibilities, preparing you to be creative collaborators involved in all phases of the conceptualization and production of technical designs for a wide range of careers.Learn more about requirements in our Student Portal
Theatre Technology students are assigned as production technical directors on four to five productions during their three-year program of study. You also receive production experience by serving in other roles: as the assistant technical director, master carpenter, properties master, and scenery technologist on stage productions.
Numerous opportunities exist to design complex mechanical and automated effects as well as to work with the IATSE staff of the IU Auditorium while being exposed to touring productions. Summer production experience is available at Indiana University Summer Theatre, our professional summer theatre.
M.F.A. students must successfully complete an M.F.A. thesis project, as defined by the student and faculty advisor. Successful thesis topics could include: new applications of materials and technology; the creation of unique or specific devices to solve common theatrical challenges; new analysis techniques for theatre scenery construction; investigation into historical scenery methods; analysis of production processes, communication, and/or management; or other topics that clearly show original thought in theatre technology.
Production-based thesis projects are also viable when coupled with stage productions appropriate to your particular needs and abilities. Thesis projects are individualized and are focused to your interests and passions through comprehensive faculty advising.
Gain experience in your craft
Our program maintains a robust season with several dance concerts in a high-paced but nurturing environment. Strong emphasis is placed on producing high-quality productions that, when combined with coursework, foster new approaches and ideas concerning scenery technology. Critical thinking, script analysis, and theory are underscored in theatre history and criticism courses.
The curriculum inclues electives from other areas and you may earn a minor in one of the following areas: Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, or Sound Design. It is also possible to create a minor composed of a unique mix of courses, organized with the help of the academic advisor, to meet your individual goals.
You will complete the M.F.A. with a varied portfolio of realized technical direction assignments and projects in technical production.
Our graduates are well prepared for a career in the professional or academic environment. The program provides a mature professional process and strong problem-solving skills. Methodologies encompass both traditional and contemporary scenic solutions, including scenery automation, AutoCAD drafting, and structural and mechanical design for the stage.
You will graduate well prepared for careers in all areas of live performance. These may include professional and educational theatre and performing arts; theme parks, commercial scenic studios, corporate and special events; and product research and development.
Jeff Baldwin, assistant professor and head of Theatre Technology
Jeff has served as the technical director on numerous productions, for both indoor and outdoor venues, including Tent Theatre, Indiana Festival Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre. Most recently he served as the Technical Director for the University of Oklahoma, University Theatre. There he taught courses in Technical Production and Advanced Materials. He received a B.S.ed. in Speech and Theatre Education from Missouri State University and an M.F.A. in Theatre Technology from Indiana University. Prior to starting his career in the arts, Jeff served in the United State Marine Corps as part of an infantry boat unit. Over the past 15+ years, he worked his way up through the ranks holding various roles such as master carpenter, assistant technical director, welder, and scenery automation tech. His research interests are motion control systems and scenery automation.
You are admitted into the program after proving competency as shown by their portfolio, statement of goals, and required interview. The Design and Technology Faculty Committee evaluates prospective students on the basis of their portfolio, writing quality, and professional potential.