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Academics

BFA Design & Technology

Curriculum and Production

The design/technology program provides intensive hands-on experience for students desiring a career in professional theatre. This B.F.A. program is a four-year sequence of courses in basic design, theatre technology and visual arts. Photo Credit: Afton WelchClass work is augmented with a wide variety of practical production experience in all areas, with the goal of ensuring that students have a basic working knowledge of all technical areas. Students have the opportunity to build a portfolio that will display a significant level of professional preparation.

The first two years focus on practical technical skills, drafting, rendering and visual arts courses. Technical assistantships are available in all shops. From the beginning, students work on mainstage productions in a variety of roles, and in progressively more responsible positions. Otterbein DTs serve as master carpenters, wardrobe masters, master electricians, sound assistants, and stage managers just to name a few.

During the junior and senior years, emphasis is on specialization in comprehensive design or technology training that provides in-depth development and skills necessary for a professional career in theatre. Students also take courses in Theatre History and Directing to build their understanding of theatre as an art form. Many students have the opportunity to assist principal designers, the technical director or costume shop supervisor, and may be selected to design and execute in all areas for mainstage productions.

The senior year is highlighted by a 10- to 12-week internship in a major regional theatre where work and exposure to practicing professionals is assured. Students continue to refine design or technology skills with assignments in major production projects to complete the portfolio and training necessary for pursuit of professional careers or further work in graduate school.

Photo Credit: Afton Welch

Students are evaluated annually and must meet professional standards to complete the B.F.A. Design and Technology program.  

To view a sample four year schedule click here.

Stage Managers in the Department of Theatre and Dance mayapproach their professional training through one of two possible degree paths: the B.F.A. degree in Design/Technology, which stresses the technical elements in management, or the B.A. degree in Theatre, which allows the student more freedom to combine courses in theatre with courses in business, psychology, and personnel management.

Design Samples from Students and Faculty

To Apply

In addition to applying to the university for general admission, all students interested in applying for the B.F.A. degree in Design and Technology must schedule an interview and present a portfolio of their work to the Design and Technology faculty.  Admission to the program is by invitation only and the number of available places is limited.  For valuable information on how to prepare a portfolio and schedule an interview click here.

Alumni Stories


Peter Sichko '09
Audio Tech
Maryland Sound International

Samantha Fremer '12
Production Assistant
The Public Theatre, NY

Josh Allen '97
Lighting Designer
Optimist Entertainment Group, Inc.


/ Department of Theatre and Dance

Department Office
M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1657

Box Office
M-F: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1109
e/ boxoffice@otterbein.edu

For general questions about admission and financial aid:
Elizabeth Doyle
Admission Counselor
p/ 614.823.1500
e/ edoyle@otterbein.edu

For questions about BFA Acting and Musical Theatre auditions:
Harriet Hill, Audition Coordinator
p/ 614.823.1210
e/ hhill@otterbein.edu

For questions about BA, Design/Tech, and Dance admission:
Matt Wolfe, Administrative Assistant
p/ 614.823.1657
e/ mtwolfe@otterbein.edu

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