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Career-Ready Conservatory Training in Stage Production

The B.F.A. in theatre production is a rigorous program that prepares graduates for a career in stage production.

Beginning freshman year, students gain hands-on experience working with professional artists, technicians and stage-managers in the classroom and on the many shows produced by the Conservatory Theatre Company, Conservatory Dance Company or Bridges Theatre Company — our student-run group — at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Learn more: MinorsCoursebook | Course Descriptions

Degree Options

B.F.A. students select one of the following majors as a course of study:

The technical design/management major provides students the opportunity to develop skills in craftsmanship, technical design and technical management within multiple disciplines of theatrical production.

In the first two years, students take courses covering the fundamentals of each discipline of production. As the student progresses through the major, they select courses that focus on their particular interests. Production work provides them the opportunity to explore the different aspects of production or hone in on a particular area and gain more experience.

Through both course work and production, students will develop their abilities in:

  • Skills/craft - Learn new skills and refine previous skills in every area of production. Career opportunities include: seamstress, tailor, electrician, carpenter, welder, props artisan, scenic artist, etc.
  • Technical design - Turning the artistic visions of designers into reality in an effective, efficient and safe manner.
  • Technical management - Communicate with the production team and develop leadership and pre-planning skills. Explore shop management and production processes. Career opportunities include: technical director, master electrician, costume shop manager, props master, scenic charge, production manager, etc.

Technical design/management majors are required to complete 129 credits.

Beginning freshman year, students take beginning-level courses in all major subjects. Outside of the classroom, students can expect to be assigned as an assistant stage-manager as early as their first semester, while sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to stage-manage one of the many shows produced during the season by the conservatory's companies.

While working on these productions, students learn real-world skills and train with professional actors, stage-managers, set designers and technicians who serve as models and mentors. The conservatory's production companies, coupled with our three-venue complex, allow students to experience a broader range of productions, making for a more versatile stage-management professional.

Stage-management majors are required to complete 126 credits.

This pre-professional training program provides students a strong foundation in all aspects of theatre art while simultaneously concentrating on a particular form of design. Students will select a focus on:

  • Scenic
  • Lighting
  • Costume
  • Sound
  • Or create a combination of the above

The design major aides the student in the practice of their discipline and challenges them to create and execute a creative conceptual idea. The combination of production work and training in the classroom ultimately prepares students to work in theatre or enter graduate school and gain further design credentials.

Design majors are required to complete 131 credits.

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