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BFA Design & Technology

Curriculum and Production

The Design/Technology program provides intensive hands-on experience for students desiring a career in professional theatre. This BFA program is a four-year sequence of courses in design, theatre technology and visual arts. Otterbein University Theatre Design & Technology Student Class work is augmented with a wide variety of practical production experience in all areas, with the goal of ensuring that students have a working knowledge of all technical areas. Students will build a portfolio that displays 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 disciplines including, but not limited to, lighting, sound , props, costume/makeup, set construction/design, and stage management.

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 week internship in a theatre or studio where students work with and are exposed to practicing professionals. Students continue to refine design and 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 BFA Design and Technology program.  

Stage Managers in the Department of Theatre and Dance may approach their professional training through one of two possible degree paths: the BFA Design/Technology, which stresses the technical elements in management, or the BA Theatre, which allows the student more freedom to combine courses with a potential double major.

Design Samples from Students and Faculty

Application and Interview

Please submit your application for academic admission to Otterbein University. Then create your profile for online scheduling at getacceptd.com. Applicant will upload the following:

  • Your resume
  • Headshot or photo (Photo needs to be recent and does not need to be professionally done)
  • Optional: 3-4 samples of your strongest work. Art work, photographs, sound clips, and video are all acceptable.  Stage managers may submit up to 5 pages of a prompt script (scanned into a single document).  

After we receive your profile, you will be granted access to schedule your on-campus or Skype portfolio review online.

Portfolio reviews will begin in September and continue on select Fridays throughout the school year. Please submit your profile at least 30 days prior to your desired portfolio review date. The final day for portfolio reviews is Friday, April 8th. Please note that students are given access to online scheduling on a first-come, first-served basis and earlier submissions will have a wider selection of available dates.

For valuable information on how to prepare a portfolio click here (PDF).

University admission decisions and BFA design technology decisions are made on a rolling basis. Students must be accepted to both the university and the BFA program to enroll in Design/Technology coursework. 

Applicants should direct questions to Matt Wolfe at 614-823-1657 or email

Transfer Students

The Department of Theatre and Dance accepts transfer students in two degree programs: the BA Theatre, and the BFA in Design/Technology.

Potential transfer students should consult the Office of Adult & Transfer Admission at 614-823-1356.

Peter Sichko

Samantha Fremer

BFA Design Technology '12

Samantha is a Production Assistant for ​The Fortress of Solitude ​at The Public Theatre in New York.

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Department of Theatre and Dance

Department Office
M-F: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1657

Box Office
M-F: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1109
e/ boxoffice@otterbein.edu

For general questions about admission and financial aid:
Office of Admission
p/ 614.823.1500
e/ uotterb@otterbein.edu

For questions about BFA Acting and Musical Theatre auditions:
e/ audition@otterbein.edu

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

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