BFA: Scenic Technology

The Scenic Technology program at the University of Illinois provides an intensive pre-professional program that combines a broad range of experiences in theatre technology and design as well as advanced studies and practice in scenic technology and technical direction.

Actors onstage during production with tower made of transparent fabric

What to expect-

Scenic technology students will become well-rounded theatre artists with an advanced knowledge of the theatrical production process, craft skills, theatre history, dramatic text analysis and the development of theatrical design, and expression of artistic intent.


This program is supported through both classroom and practical experiences and progressions. Scenic Technology students will begin by getting a deep understanding of the theatre fundamentals while also exploring the University of Illinois through general education courses.  Students will follow a logical and sequential progression of courses; further developing and honing their more advanced skills along the way.  Some examples of the core courses include:

  • Stagecraft
  • Stage Drafting
  • Survey of Theatrical Design
  • Metalworking and Welding
  • Basic to intermediate uses of AutoCAD for Theatrical drafting
  • Technical Direction I
  • Introduction to Stage Rigging
  • Structures for the Stage I
  • Scenic Painting
  • Capstone Project

By fulfilling these core requirements and allowing flexibility through additional courses and independent studies, our students are prepared to take on the vast roles in live performance and related industries.  Some of the more advanced courses include:

  • Structures for the Stage II
  • Electric Motors & Fluid Power
  • Automation for the Stage
  • Shop Practice
  • Advanced Metalworking
  • Entertainment Rigging
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Courses in other theatre design/tech areas and outside the theatre department


This classroom education will be reinforced through the practical application of skills gained while working on our various productions.  Scenic Technology students will be working and collaborating with the entire production team and various departments to achieve successful production results onstage.  The production experiences will model professional roles and processes.  Students will begin their practicum assignments by either working in the scene shop or as a member of the stage run crew or fly operator for a production.  They will progress further by taking on the roles of carpenter, deck chief, head fly man, master carpenter, and assistant technical director before culminating their experience as a technical director during their final year.

Faculty, Staff, and Facility

The performance spaces at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts serve as labs for all theatre students.  The expansive facilities of Krannert Center offer a unique partnership between the Illinois Theatre, Dance at Illinois, and the School of Music Opera and Lyric Theatre Programs.  Students will gain experience working on theatre, musical theatre, opera and dance productions.  Our students have the advantage of working side-by-side with professional faculty and staff in an environment that fosters creativity, individuality, and excellence.  Students will receive highly individualized instruction and mentorship from a diverse group of faculty and staff in the Krannert Center at large.

Graduation Outcomes

The possibilities are endless for students with degrees in Scenic Technology.  Technical Direction is about creative problem solving and communication – vital skills in any industry.  Students also learn to research, plan, schedule, and develop strong leadership and management skills.  We are training, not just strong theatrical technicians, but developing invaluable skills for working professionals everywhere.  When our students graduate they have a portfolio of realized work that prepares them to enter and be successful in the profession or graduate school.  Our students go on to work in a wide variety of positions at regional theatres, touring companies, commercial scene and production shops, theatrical suppliers, event companies and in allied fields such as architecture, film, and television.



For more information about the Scenic Technology program visit: Scenic Technology @ Illinois


If you would like more detailed information, please contact: Ryan Schultz at

Actors onstage during production with tower made of transparent fabric

Learn How to Apply

Cookie Settings