Theater BA: Design/Production Emphasis
Students in the design/production emphasis are exposed to a broad range of training which focuses on giving students the tools needed to develop and produce a design in one of four areas (scenic, lighting, sound, costume). The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the possibility of either pursuing an M.F.A. degree in design or for consideration in entry-level employment as assistant theater designers or production assistants in theater, film and television. The UCLA TFT Theater program is not a training conservatory and is not for the student who is eager to begin working professionally right away. For those persons we recommend one of the acclaimed B.F.A. conservatory training programs found across the country. The UCLA TFT Theater program is for the student who sees him/herself as a scholar/artist — one who is eager to learn and wants a great university education from one of the world's major research institutions. Roughly half of the student's classes are in subjects other than theater. This education will prepare the graduate to be an informed citizen of an increasingly complex world, an original and critical thinker, as well as providing one of the best theater educations offered in the country.
The courses in the design/production emphasis begin in the sophomore year. The sophomore year can be thought of as the skills courses year where students begin taking fundamental skills courses — drafting, pattern making, watercolor, sketching, model making, computer assisted design, etc.
In the junior year, students begin taking courses in one of the four design areas: scenic design, lighting design, costume design, sound design. Students choose to take classes in one of those design areas in the junior year and another in the senior year.
With the exception of sound design, only two of those areas will be offered in any given year. The other two will be taught in the senior year. Sound design is offered each year and may be taken in the sophomore year. Also in the junior as well as senior year, students should continue to take skills courses that they have not yet had a chance to take.
Students interested in stage management should know that there is no specific emphasis in stage management. There is one course that is taught specifically to stage management students. After completing this course students may then elect to begin stage managing productions under production and directing faculty supervision. Students who wish to stage manage/assistant stage manage must apply to do so. Assignment to a play is by interview and analysis of the work done in the stage management class. Subsequent assignment is contingent on successful completion of previous stage management/assistant stage management assignments.
Students admitted to the major in the design/production emphasis are not guaranteed a place in the design/production classes each quarter. All emphasis classes require instructor consent to enroll. The faculty may elect to not continue a student in the emphasis at any time. This could be due to poor performance or poor citizenship (excessive absences, not working up to the standards of the class, poor grades in the class, etc.). In this situation the student would still graduate with a degree in Theater (providing that s/he completes the degree requirements), but without an emphasis.
Like all other theater undergraduate emphases, design/production is not a "major." All undergraduates in the theater program are Theater majors and graduate with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree in Theater.
All Theater undergraduate students (from any area) may audition for most departmental undergraduate productions.
Please note that students in the UCLA TFT Department of Theater cannot transfer to the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media at any time during their four years here, nor can they change from their emphasis into the acting or musical theater emphases.