Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Theatre (Theatre Technology)

The Theatre Technology option offers professional training in the crafts and arts of the technician.

The objective is to combine course work in theatre technology with ample opportunities to construct fully mounted productions. The curriculum is a carefully structured series of courses aimed at covering the full gamut of technical productions. All courses are of practical variety; student technicians are given specific problems and are asked to find workable solutions. Faculty and peer-evaluation assist the student in perfecting skills.

The program presupposes that entering students have little or no background in technical theatre and design. Therefore, we introduce them to design and provide technical background in the crafts. Every student technician spends at least one semester as a costumer, master carpenter, shop foreman, master electrician, stage manager, sound technician, properties master, costume master, and assistant technical director. During those semesters, the student is given full responsibility for the areas assigned him/her, with ample assistance from the faculty. Each student serves a senior directing project as the studio theatre’s technical director, allowing him/her the experience of personnel management, purchasing, and scheduling.

It should be noted in this regard that the constant diet of twelve-hour workdays extending to midnight and beyond, which are commonplace for tech students in many institutions, is not allowed here. We feel strongly that students spending that much time and energy in shop cannot possibly achieve the full measure of growth in the art. Therefore, all production work is carefully scheduled so that it can be completed no later than 11 p.m. However, Saturdays and Sundays will be used for specifically called times.

We realize that our students arrive with the kind of total commitment required for success in the theatre. We assume further that they come with basic insights, if not necessarily the kind of training or experience, needed for effective work. We look, therefore, upon our course work as an experimentation and practice. To intensify that experience, the student technician is normally given from four to eight major departmental productions to work on as a technician.

We wish to give the student as much learning time as possible. We assume that students want to leave an undergraduate school ready to deal with the realities of professional theatre work. We consider it our function to provide them with an opportunity to spend at least three years working with what is, in effect, a company with excellent artistic directions that can assist the student in learning and refining skills and broadening experiences. We do not promise to make every student a great technician; we do promise to make every student as good a pre-professional technician as capability allows.

In order to become a candidate for the B.F.A. with an option in Technology, the student must do the following:

  • Make at least a “B” in Stagecraft and Elements of Play Production.
  • Candidates must exemplify:
    a. Attributes of a professional artist, which includes talent, a willingness to learn and develop, discipline, commitment, and cooperation.
    b. Potential leadership skills.
    c. Genuine love, respect, and appreciation of the theatre.
    d. Active involvement during the first year of residency.
  • Pass an interview, resume and portfolio review. The technology review will consist of the student presenting his/her resume, any and all projects along with their portfolio as it presently stands.
  • Design and/or technically direct a main stage production by the end of their senior year.
  • Present portfolio and interview at two of the following:
    a. M.F.A. Program
    b. North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC)
    c. Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)
    d. United States Institute of Theatre Technology (U. S. I.T.T.)
    e. University/Regional Theatre Audition (URTA)
    f. Local, Regional or National Professional Theatre Companies

In addition to the curricular requirements, the student must complete such co-curricular obligations as (a) the qualifying interview; (b) the progress evaluation; (c) portfolio and resume presentation; (d) production assignment; and (e) the senior thesis project.


This interview will occur in the student’s second or third semester of residency at a date and time assigned to the student by the Theatre Arts Program Director.

  1. The Qualifying Interview must include resume and portfolio.
  2. The judges will consist of the student’s academic advisor, along with two members of the technology and design faculty.
  3. It will be the student’s responsibility to select the materials to be included in their resume and portfolio. A member of the technology and design faculty, however, must approve the student’s selections.
  4. Approval of the material by a member of the technology and design faculty must be obtained by the end of the semester prior to the one in which the student is required to present. The technology and design faculty member must also approve any subsequent changes the student wishes to make in his portfolio. (NOTE: These stipulations are for the student’s protection. They are designed to guarantee that the student allows sufficient time for preparation and to insure that the materials he or she selects is appropriate.)
  5. Preparation of the qualifying material is solely the responsibility of the student.
  6. The B.F.A. Technology interview will be held the first semester of each year. Should a student’s qualifying interview and portfolio presentation be deemed unsatisfactory, he/she will be required to repeat it the following semester. The Theatre Arts Program Director will assign a new date. A member of the technology and design faculty must approve any changes in the qualifying material.
  7. The comments and opinions of the student’s adjudicators will be collected by his/her academic advisor and communicated orally to the student within one week after his/her interview and presentation of portfolio. In the event of an unsatisfactory rating, a written explanation will be given to the student.


The faculty during jury will evaluate each student at the end of each academic year. Evaluation is based on observation of production activities (quality and quantity) and on academic progress toward the degree. Recommendations resulting from the evaluation will be reported to the student by his/her academic advisor.


All technology students are required to interview for all main stage production positions and for the Richard B. Harrison Players, the department’s varsity organization. Each student is also required to make a professional interview at two or more of the following: the North Carolina Theatre Conference, Southeastern Theatre Conference, University Resident Theatre Conference, the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, M.F.A. Design/Technology Programs, or Local, Regional or National Professional Theatre Companies.


Each student must serve as a member of the (1) running crew, (2) stage manager or assistant stage manager, (3) assistant technical director or assistant designer for at least one major departmental production or Studio production. This requirement must be met at some point during the student’s first six semesters of residency. Evidence of its completion must be furnished in writing by the student to the Theatre Arts program director.


The Technology student’s degree program culminates with a final production project supervised by a faculty member in the technology area. The production is the student’s final demonstration of his/her craft proficiency and, as such, is a project the student should begin planning as early as possible in his residency.

To ensure protection of the student’s interests and to provide a reasonable guarantee that a project of the highest quality will result, the Theatre program has adopted specific procedures for the selection, preparation, and execution of the Senior thesis project. This information is listed in detail in the Theatre Arts Student Handbook.