Technical Design and Production

Department Information

Jimmy Anne Gunn ('18). Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017.
Jimmy Anne Gunn ('18). Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017.

Contemporary theater design and production practice are profoundly influenced by modern technology. As this technology has become more complex, practitioners in the performing arts must be trained to understand and apply these technologies to the achievement of artistic goals. To meet this need for ever more knowledgeable professionals, the department selects highly motivated students who are ready to use the resources of Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre to benefit their professional growth.

The department’s academic and practical programs of study train students for the wide range of career paths in our profession: producing organizations, commercial enterprises, consulting firms, manufacturing companies, and academic departments. The testimony to our success is the exceptional range of accomplishments of our graduates.

Students complete a required sequence of courses in addition to selecting electives that allow concentrations in such fields as Production Management, Technical Direction, Stage Machinery and Automation, or Theater Planning and Consulting. The department’s faculty and staff offer courses that cover a wide range of topics including technical management, mechanical design, rigging, automation, structural design, acoustics, theater engineering, digital technology, show control, drafting software, lighting, sound and video technology, theater safety, and technical writing. These academic pursuits are partnered with production assignments that further students’ skills and professional goals.

Seminars introduce students to noted professionals, and we encourage students to augment their education with courses from other departments and schools at Yale, including Architecture, Management, and Engineering & Applied Science. Finally, students write a research thesis in their area of concentration.