Master of Fine Arts: Design and Technology

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Design - mastering interpretation, collaboration and idea development; developing the graphic tools needed to superlatively communicate design ideas visually.
  • Technical Skills - mastering the tools of production, and the processes associated within each design/technology discipline.
  • History - mastering research, text analysis and dramatic history.
  • Production - mastering the artistic merging of design, history and technical skills through the experiences of numerous and varied productions.
  • Entrepreneurship - mastering the business of the profession and career growth.

Program Requirements

This is a three-year program requiring a minimum of 60 credit hours.
Students majoring in design and technology may choose to specialize in:

  • Design (scenic design, costume design and technology, lighting design, sound design).
  • Technical direction.
  • Stage management.

Design Emphasis

Those choosing a design emphasis will be prepared to compete for United Scenic Artist Local 829 membership as scenic designers, lighting designers, costume designers or sound designers. They also will be prepared to design in professional theatre centers and in major universities and colleges.

Technology Emphasis

Technical Direction

Candidates specializing in technology will be trained to compete for jobs as technical directors or assistant technical directors and other supervisory technical positions, or other entertainment-business-related positions.

Stage Management

Stage management candidates serve as assistant stage managers the first semester or first year, as stage managers the second year, and serve a residency in the last semester. They also work as production assistants for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre shows. Candidates in stage management are trained to compete for jobs as Actors' Equity stage managers and take classes on the Actors' Equity LORT rule book.

General Requirements

The portfolio to be presented for admission should include:

  1. Artistic renderings.
  2. Drafted materials.
  3. Photographs and slides.
  4. Resume and references.

MFA candidates are expected to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Only students who have demonstrated satisfactory progress in required skills and professional discipline during the first year (or sooner at faculty discretion) will be invited by the faculty to continue the program. During the second year, the design and technology students will concentrate on areas of interest, choosing advanced courses and working in the appropriate production areas. Third-year residency allows students to continue to emphasize design or technology coursework while undertaking major design or technology projects with productions in the Department of Theatre, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre or other professional environments. The concluding requirements of the M.F.A. degree for the design and technology candidate will be classroom projects, produced work and final presentations of portfolios. M.F.A. students are subject to the General Graduate Academic Requirements of the University for graduate study.