BC: Theatre and Cinema Department Virginia Tech 250 Henderson Blacksburg, VA 24061-0141 540 231-5335
FC: Design/Technology MFA at Virginia Tech
1: Why come to Virginia Tech for an MFA in Theatre Design & Technology? Unlike many MFA programs, ours is not a cookie cutter program, rather we focus on the individual student's artistic journey to develop a philosophy framed in contemporary professional practices. No two students path is the same. We believe in a program that is based on individual tutorial work guided by the principal advisor in concert with perceived goals identified by the student and the advisory committee chosen by the student. During the three years here, our students are assigned to work on department productions beginning in their first semester. Each graduate student is given an assistantship; they are assigned to work in the scene shop, costume shop, or management office. They also have the opportunity to work in short duration off-campus with theatre's and arts organizations for what we refer to as "a run out", with the approval of their primary advisor. They participate in regional and national conferences, productions, and workshops when available and appropriate to the student's professional development. This includes opportunities to assist in the professional activities of our faculty artists. They are encouraged to continue their professional growth during the summer through internships or artistic positions at theatres throughout the country. During their third and final year a professional residency with a significant artist or arts organization is required in either the fall or spring semester. This is arranged by the student, with input from the primary advisor and committee. At the end of the third year a final project and report, in their specific discipline, is presented to faculty and peers.
2: "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot" directed by Melody Zobel Set Design - Randy Ward Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Lisa Street-Libetrau | "Persephone" directed by Bob McGrath Set Design - Jim Findlay Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Jane Alois Stein Projections - Laurie Olinder Film - Bill Morrison
3: "Our Town" directed by Andy Belser Set Design - Randy Ward Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Leslie Cook (MFA) | "Tresle At Pope Lick Creek" directed by Bob Leonard Set Design - Randy Ward Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Megan Carey (BA)
4: Throughout the three years individual creative growth is fostered; the personality of the artistic, the manager, or technical director is allowed self-discovery and growth, nurtured in an atmosphere of mutual respect. From it comes intensity and commitment to quality. The principal advisor and the faculty, as a whole, guide the student to a discovery of individual style and process. The successful student discovers an artistic center and develops the appropriate skills to create as a theatre artist.
5: What we offer: We have programs in: Scenography Lighting Design Costume Design Prop Design/Supervision Technical Direction
6: Our production season selections focus on new works and re-envisioned "classics". All of our design areas seek to employ new ideas, technologies, and approaches when a production deems these appropriately. Our choices also try to be conscious of sustainability, economy, and ecology; the very real conditions all professional theatres continually face. We require students to build a professional paper and electronic portfolio during their time, and their third year culminates in a professional internship and a final project (non-thesis) that both challenges the student beyond their experiences here and hopefully creates future connections for them.
7: SCENOGRAPHY The program in Scenography is a graduated exploration of contemporary approaches to the integrated design of physical staging environments. Collaborative design evolution amongst the various design disciplines is stressed with emphasis on structural and kinetic staging solutions that place performers in fluid and active structural environments. We explore contemporary technologies including projection design applications. | PROPS DESIGN/SUPERVISION is an ancillary design area to Scenography.. Additional Course Topics include: Shadow Puppetry for the Theatre Visually Based Theatre Multimedia Rendering Japanese Theatre
8: COSTUME DESIGN and TECHNOLOGY Costume Design is the effective interpretation of character through the information obtained from the script, and by close collaboration with the director and other designers. It is through analysis of the script, researching the period, understanding why people wore the clothes they did, and adapting all those things to the director's concept, that makes a successful design. Costume Design is not simply a regurgitation of pictures in a book; it is developing a character through the choice of clothes and accessories that ultimately helps support the actor in becoming that character, as well as, the other design elements for the production. | We have a well lit Costume Design Studio, located directly across the hall from our spacious, equally well lit Costume Shop. In the shop we have a wonderful fitting room, six Berina sewing machines, two state of the art embroidery machines, and two industrial sergers. At one end of the shop we have a craft room equipped with a dye vat, and spray hood, at the other is our costume shop manager's office. Additional Course Topics include: figure drawing costume crafts costume rendering techniques intermediate costume design advanced costume design
9: LIGHTING DESIGN The program is set up to provide each student an individualized three-year progression of as much practical production work as possible. To achieve this, the number of students in the program at any one time is limited to maximize opportunities. Some traditional classroom courses, of varying levels in design and technology exist, but a more unique and thoroughly critical development of work occurs in a one-on-one studio setting by providing challenges and professionally oriented goals of growth that students are expected to meet. | Our three theatre spaces: proscenium, modified thrust, and a flexible configuration, are all well equipped with a large inventory of automated fixtures, conventionals, and some of the latest control consoles. A sampling of our inventories include the EOS, ION, and Whole Hog controls; High End, ETC, Sea Changer, Wybron, City Theatrical, and Apollo in automated fixtures and accessories; and conventional fixtures by ETC, Altman, Strand, and ARRI. Additionally a generously equipped lighting laboratory is available for experimentation. Additional Course Topics include: Lighting Technology VectorWorks
10: "A Skull in Connemara" directed by Greg Justice Set Design - Paul Schreiner (MFA) Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - James Robin Adams (BA) | "Places and the Displace" Set Design - Randy Ward
11: "Waiting For Godot" directed by Greg Justice Set Design - John Teacher (MFA) Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Lisa Street-Liebetrau | "Abingdon Square" directed by Bob Leonard Set Design - Derek Miller (BA) Lighting Design - Jeccisa Carson (MFA) Costume Design - Jane Alois Stein
12: TECHNICAL DESIGN and PRODUCTION The work of the technical director and the production staff must involve both aesthetic contribution and technical competence. We believe the successful candidate will possess these four attributes: Artistry, Craftsmanship, Leadership & Management. Artistry - the TD must be an artist. Craftsmanship - they must demonstrate technical & tactical competence. Leadership - the art of influencing others to accomplish a mission by providing Purpose, Direction & Motivation. Management - ensures that a task is understood, supervised, accomplished, and keeps colleagues informed. | Modern design challenges require a creative approach rather than dependence on "traditional" scenic methods. Design experience and strong skills in geometry, trigonometry, and simplified structural engineering form the basis for efficient problem solving and the true realization of the scenic idea.. Additional Course Topics include: Rigging Statics & Structural Engineering AutoCAD Mechanical Design
13: Sound Studio | All our performance spaces are equipped with Yamaha digital mixing consoles, QLab digital playback software, a Metric Halo digital audio interface, and a minimum of 8 output channels using QSC amps and a large selection of JBL speakers. Up to 20 Sennheiser wireless microphones can be used as needed, as well as a 32 x 8 channel digital audio snake. | Our three audio editing stations are each equipped with a Digidesign Pro Tools system and access to a library of over 12,000 sound effects. Adjacent to the editing suite is a small recording booth for audio production work.
14: "Lightning At Our Feet directed by Bob McGrath Set Design - Jim Findlay Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Jane Alois Stein Projects - Laurie Olinder Film - Bill Morrison | "The Skin of Our Teeth" directed by Greg Justice Costume Design - Theresa Hartman (MFA) Costume for Gladys
15: "Iphigenia 2.0" directed by Andrew Dolan (MFA) Set Design - Kristen Morgan Lighting Design - Jessica Carson (MFA) Costume Design - Leslie Cook (MFA)
16: Studio Theatre Is a three-quarter thrust/modified proscenium designed by Theatre & Cinema faculty member Randy Ward. The house seats 214 and is most commonly used for the mainstage productions and the summer arts festival. The Studio features state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video systems, and is located directly in front of the Scene Shop, making set construction and loading remarkably convenient. The stage incorporates a trap below and hidden voms surrounding it, providing flexible actor access around the stage area. A dismountable second level balcony is a readily available addition to the performance space. Dressing rooms are located behind the shop. | Theatre 101 Opened in fall 2009, Theatre 101 is the newest addition to the Theatre & Cinema performance spaces. It is a 42 x 42 square foot open space with a lighting grid at 18 feet above stage level. Audience risers and portable seating allow flexible staging configuration. This venue is to be used primarily for workshop productions directed by students and faculty, as well a regular performance classes. The new facility will have strong technical capability and a lobby front offering a new public face to the campus and the town of Blacksburg.Theatre 101 | FACILITIES
17: FACULTY Randy Ward - Scenography John Ambrosone - Lighting Jane Alois Stein - Costumes Bill Barksdale - Technical Direction Supporting Staff: David Wedin - Assistant TD, Sound Beth Christensen - Costume Shop Manager Katie Nesbit - Scene shop Instructor | WEBSITE www.theatre.vt.edu
18: "Eurydice" directed by Megan Carney (MFA) Set Design - Randy Ward Lighting Design - John Ambrosone Costume Design - Leslie Cook (MFA) | "Shakespeare Seen By Scene" Set Design - Randy Ward
19: "Our Town" Set Design - Randy Ward | "Her Sexy Outfit" directed by Bob McGrath Set Design - Randy Ward Lighting Design - Jessica Carson (MFA) Costume Design - Theresa Hartman (MFA) | "Good Person of Szechuan" Costume Design - Theresa Hartman (MFA)