BFA in Theatre: Design and Technology

Soundboard above the stage.

UB’s BFA in Theatre, concentration in Design and Technology degree is for students interested in developing specific skills and who are willing to commit to structured, intensive, studio-based training. The cornerstone of UB’s Design and Technology program is practical application alongside supportive lecture. We provide students with challenging opportunities to learn in the classroom, and to apply that learning through hands-on experiences. In the classroom, you learn to recognize your inspiration, develop your ideas, and communicate your vision; in the Center for the Arts, you work with professionals to execute those ideas in production.

Course of Study

BFA students in Design and Technology receive comprehensive training in all aspects of production including Scene, Lighting, Sound, and Costume Design as well Stage Management, Technical Direction, Live Event Production, and more. Students engage with faculty and guest artists on the latest developments in theatre technology and design such as automation, wearable media, site-specific work, and digital practices including projection design. 

Applied Learning. Student designers, technicians and stage managers work side by side with faculty directors and designers, and with the CFA staff on our eight-show departmental season. Our main season productions are designed, built, and executed by students in one of several state-of-the-art venues at UB, including our proscenium stages, our flexible black box theatre, and our arena stage in the Katharine Cornell Theatre. Regularized mentorship prepares the student for graduate study or a professional career. Our design and technology students participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), and many have received national recognition for their design work from UB. BFA students often continue on to graduate school, earning full scholarships to prestigious programs in design, technology, and management.  

Employment Opportunities. Design and Technology students can work as paid technical assistants on a wide range of live event productions alongside professional technicians and staff at the Center for the Arts. Students often have the opportunity to work as assistant designers or managers with faculty in professional theatres in the region, as well as earning internships throughout the country. 

Application Requirements

Students considering the BFA, Design and Technology program must be accepted by the University academically, and be admitted to the program via a departmental interview and portfolio review. Admitted BFA students must retain their place through periodic evaluations and reviews by faculty members. Students interested in the BFA program can interview prior to matriculating at UB. However, many of our students begin in the BA in Theatre program and choose to transition upon completing introductory courses and gaining further production experience.

Students interested in studying design and technology can also do so through our BA in Theatre program as well as our Theatre Minor. Recommended introductory courses for any interested student are: 

TH 106: Intro to Technical Theatre (take with either TH 135 or TH 136 practicum)
TH 203: Visual Imagination
TH 101: Intro To Theatre  

Course Fees 

Some courses offered in the Design/Technology program require course fees. Details for course fees can found within each course description.

Get Involved 

Students interested in production work but who may not wish to pursue a major in design and technology can still get involved. Contact the department at td-theatredance@buffalo.edu for information on how. 

Contact Us

Dyan Burlingame.
Director of Design and Technology
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Topics: Design and Technology

Katie Mallinson.
Katie Mallinson

281 Alumni Arena

Phone: (716) 645-6318

kamallin@buffalo.edu

Academic Manager
Department of Theatre and Dance
College of Arts and Sciences