Stage Design Props and Scenic Art

Student performers sing during a performance of Chess with American and Soviet flags hanging over a chess board floor

Stage or set design is the art, craft and practice of designing and implementing theatrical 3-D environments for drama, opera, musical theatre, dance performance, live concert events, film, video and television productions and themed events and environments. Though similar in some ways to interior or architectural design, stage design goes beyond decoration to visually and environmentally support and thematically expand a script, screenplay or scenario by facilitating human interaction and/or choreography within the context of a theatrical event.

The student of stage design should work to develop his or her artistic talent in the visual and decorative arts; exercise the imagination to create dramatic space, imagery and effects; acquire a broad-based knowledge of theatre arts and technical production; become very observant; practice drawing, painting, rendering, model-making, drafting and research; and develop a strong interest in the spoken or lyric theatre.

The study of mankind and his surroundings - past, present and future - is of ongoing importance for a familiarity of periods and styles and for a strong sense of history. The focus of theatre throughout history is the human condition, and the stage designer creates the visual 'world' - realistic, suggestive or abstract - in which to dramatize this, whether a serious play, an entertaining musical or a dramatic opera. Professional stage designers have various training backgrounds but essentially share all these characteristics.

CCM is well-prepared to train the student set designer in these requirements. Post graduation career opportunities include stage design for plays, musicals, opera, dance, video and film, exhibitions and displays, themed attractions, environments and special events.

Headshot of Michael J. Blankenship

Michael J. Blankenship

Scenic Artist

513-556-3709

Headshot of Mark A. Halpin

Mark A. Halpin

Associate Professor of Scenic Design

859-620-8365

Headshot of Kathryn M. Miller

Kathryn M. Miller

Technical Theatre Specialist

513-556-3713

Headshot of Thomas Christopher Umfrid

Thomas Christopher Umfrid

Professor of Stage Design

513-556-9452

CCM's admissions process begins on August 1 (undergraduate) and September 1 (graduate) for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Pre-screening and Interview Requirements

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Current resume
  • 500-word applicant statement
    • Use the 500-word statement to express: how you came to your area of theater design and production, what you expect to gain out of the CCM experience, and what direction you intend to go upon graduation. What are your personal and professional goals and how does CCM get you closer to those goals?
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio (include theatre, artistic, and/or craft work)
  • Theatre Design and Production questionnaire

Interview

Interview Requirements

  • Application materials, along with experiences, achievements and long-range goals will be discussed at the applicant’s interview. All applicants will interview with faculty from the Theatre Design and Production department.

Additional Information

  • Candidates should only apply to one major within Theatre Design and Production unless seriously considering two areas

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 1 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an audition.

Pre-screening Requirements

  • Current resume
  • 500-word applicant statement
    • Use the 500-word statement to express: how you came to your area of theater design and production, what you expect to gain out of the CCM experience, and what direction you intend to go upon graduation. What are your personal and professional goals and how does CCM get you closer to those goals?
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio (include theatre, artistic, and/or craft work)

Interview

Interview Requirements

  • Application materials, along with experiences, achievements and long-range goals will be discussed at the applicant’s interview. All applicants will interview with faculty from the Theatre Design and Production department.
  • MFA Interviews should be scheduled directly through the appropriate faculty. Visit the Theatre Design and Production website for the faculty directory.

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