As a student in the School of Theatre and Dance's Design/Production sequence you will have hands-on opportunities to practice your craft. You will be able to take your extensive classroom training and put it to work within our MainStage production season—and you can get involved with productions right away.
In the Design/Production sequence you will be guided by seven faculty members who are also working professionals. They teach basic and advanced courses in all aspects of theatrical production. You will learn new skills and improve existing ones. Course subjects include:
- Scene Design
- Sound Design and Technology
- Costume Construction
- Costume History
- Scene Painting
- Stage Management
As a student in Design/Production you may become involved in the production program right away, by working backstage or in one of our shops during your first semester. In the spring semester the Design/Production faculty conducts interviews to determine production assignments for the following season. Your assignments for the production season are determined by the progress you have demonstrated in earlier assignments and in your classes. Second-year students regularly serve in positions of greater responsibility. Students in their junior and senior years have the opportunity to take on the challenges of lead production positions. Qualified students may work as
- technical directors
- master electricians
- head carpenters
- stage managers
- props artisans
- costume designers
- lighting designers
- scene designers
- sound designers
Click here to see the Four-Year Plan of Study in Design/Production (pdf). For more information about our program requirements and course descriptions, please review the Undergraduate Catalog.
The Design/Production Skills You Need
Graduates from the Design/Production program are working in theaters in Chicago and throughout the midwest. Illinois State University is widely recognized for providing its Design/Production students with excellent training, including:
- Design and production opportunities in arena, thrust and proscenium staging in two well-equipped theaters.
- A dedicated computer lab with the latest in design software.
- Applied computer technology classes in sound, set, costume and lighting design.
- Individualized supervision by faculty advisors.
- Professional internships and job opportunities with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
- Association with the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.
Admission to the Undergraduate Design/Production Sequence
Prospective freshmen and transfer students must participate in a Portfolio Review and Interview for admission to the Design/Production sequence. You will automatically be considered for scholarship support on the basis of your interview. For information about available scholarships, see Awards, Scholarships & Assistantships.
As a prospective freshman or transfer student in Design/Production, you must:
- First apply to Illinois State University. If you are ready, apply today!
- When you fill out your ISU application you will also select a date for your portfolio review.
Upcoming portfolio review dates are:
- Saturday, October 1, 2016 (ISU)
- Saturday, November 5, 2016 (ISU)
- Saturday, January 21, 2017 (Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, sign-in 9:00 a.m.)
- Saturday, February 18, 2017 (ISU)
- Friday, March 31, 2017 (ISU: not for scholarship consideration)
For more information on what you should bring to your Portfolio Review, please see the School of Theatre and Dance guidelines under Admission & Auditions.
You will receive confirmation of your Portfolio Review and Interview date by e-mail. Within two weeks after your interview, you will be notified as to whether or not you have been accepted into the Design/Production sequence.
Any student not accepted into Design/Production, but admitted to Illinois State University, may enroll as a Theatre major in the Theatre Studies sequence. Theatre Studies students are eligible to reapply for the Design/Production sequence as soon as they feel they are ready.