Program Information

Jimmy Anne Gunn ('18). Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017.
Jimmy Anne Gunn ('18). Photo by Joan Marcus, 2017.The carefully curated curriculum of the Technical Design and Production (TD&P) program aims to train global technical managers and change-makers who center anti-racism in their decision-making. The program brings together immensely dedicated full-time faculty, lecturers, and production staff members with a primary focus on supporting students in their career goals. In a field that is in constant tension with rapidly evolving technology and spectacle, we train technical managers who put people before product while achieving the artistic goals.

The carefully curated curriculum of the Technical Design and Production (TD&P) program aims to train global technical managers and change-makers who center anti-racism in their decision-making. The program brings together immensely dedicated full-time faculty, lecturers, and production staff members with a primary focus on supporting students in their career goals. In a field that is in constant tension with rapidly evolving technology and spectacle, we train technical managers who put people before product while achieving the artistic goals.

The program weaves hands-on skill courses such as Stage Rigging Techniques and Drafting I, theory-based courses like Production Planning and Imagining a New Anti-Racist Production Process, and elective courses that allow concentrations in such fields as production management, technical direction, stage machinery and automation, or theater planning and consulting. The program’s faculty and staff offer courses covering a wide range of topics, including production planning, drafting, structural design, rigging, automation, mechanical design, show control, sound and video technology, theater engineering, technical management, and health and safety. Seminars introduce students to noted professionals. We encourage students to augment their education with courses from other programs and schools at Yale, including Architecture, Management, and Engineering & Applied Science.

These courses are paired with professional work assignments (PWAs) that further students’ skills and goals. Some PWAs place students in technical management roles including assistant production electrician, assistant properties manager, assistant technical director, associate production manager, associate safety adviser, production electrician, production manager, projection engineer, properties manager, technical director, sound engineer, and stage carpenter. Students can request additional roles or research projects for PWAs. All professional work assignments serve to give students practical management training or research time to complement and reinforce anti-racism training, skills, and theory from the classroom. Additionally, they expose students to new techniques, and students learn how to work with different teams effectively and safely. The successful completion of six to eight PWAs is necessary for the degree.

The M.F.A./Certificate program includes a research thesis in the final year, designed, written, realized, and presented by the student in the student’s area of concentration. The thesis is an opportunity to investigate and highlight a topic in technical theater that has or will impact the field.