The Performing Arts Design Program (PADP) provides students with the highest quality education, training and practical experience in the study of design for the performing arts. We provide an environment that develops students’ verbal and graphic communication abilities, knowledge, creative thinking, collaborative skills, and promotes the investigation and use of new technology. We encourage students to explore and develop their personal design interests as they pertain to one specific or a broad range of design areas for a variety of arts disciplines. The PADP prepares its graduates to enter the many different fields of design through rigorous academic instruction, introduction to the expectations and performance standards in the field, and individual mentoring form working professional theatre artists.
All PADP students complete the Department of Theatre Core Requirements and a PADP core curriculum that includes coursework in scenic, costume and lighting design. Upon completion of these courses, each student is assigned a faculty mentor who advises them through the remainder of their course of study. Our faculty members are working professionals who have extensive experience designing for regional theatre, opera, dance, film, television, theme environment design, and corporate design. They are active in professional organizations including United Scenic Artists Local 829, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Mentors work closely with students to identify their career goals and tailor their courses and design projects to recognize their chosen career path, balancing the curriculum with depth in each student’s area of interest. This customized curriculum allows each PADP student to pursue individual interests in one of more areas of design for the performing arts including lighting, scenery, costume, sound, or wigs and makeup. PADP graduates are prepared for a professional work in their chosen field of design, or further education at a graduate level. Our graduates have been accepted into some of the finest graduate programs in the country including Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, New York University, Northwestern University, University of California at Irvine, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, and Yale.