Design and Costume Technology

design homepage
Theater Design students at Mason Gross School of the Arts are part of a dynamic 3.5-year professional training conservatory program offering a six-week intensive in London. Located only 45 minutes from New York City, our BFA program provides a strong foundation in theater history and theory with rigorous training in the skills needed to work in the entertainment business. Professional internships in New York City are an integral part of the program. Our faculty and staff are distinguished, working professionals and classes are small, so students receive one-on-one mentoring every step of the way. Students have ample opportunities to design and produce department shows. With a strong alumni network, Mason Gross bridges the gap between education and career with our annual portfolio presentation in New York City. Mason Gross School of the Arts offers top-ranked conservatory training within the setting of a top-ranked research university. Areas of concentration are Set Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design and Costume Technology.
OnStage calls the Design and Costume Technology BFA program one of the best in the country. They say the program graduates "incredibly talented and prepared theatre professionals." Read more here.
The first year provides a comprehensive review of the foundations of theater history and design theory and skills. All first-year students take core classes together, providing a strong sense of community and an appreciation of the collaborative nature of theater. MFA design students begin to focus on foundation classes in their own majors to develop the theory and skills needed to work professionally while BFA design students explore a wider range of theater experience.
The second year builds on the foundations learned in the first year and provides more in-depth explorations into these foundations of theater through a class called “Global Theater,” which analyzes current theater styles and theories across the globe. Advanced study of design topics in the student’s major continues, with electives in specialized skills. Additional electives in other design and academic disciplines are encouraged.

Students spend six weeks of the fall semester of their third year in London at Shakespeare’s Globe where they study with distinguished British designers and take full advantage of London’s dynamic theater and cultural opportunities. Field trips to theater productions, museums and galleries are all part of the program. Students then return to Rutgers in the spring, pursuing in-depth training in their area of design. MFA designers begin the first of two thesis projects, which are fully produced designs for department shows and/or professional internships in New York City. Additional electives in other design and academic disciplines are encouraged.

Students spend the fall semester of their fourth year studying their specialized design area in further depth. MFA designers prepare their second thesis project. There is also a special focus on career transition and 20th Century theater. Students enter the profession with a solid foundation in theater history and theory, design theory and skills and a working understanding of the entertainment business. December graduation launches students into the theater profession 5 months before graduates of other programs. By cultivating professional contacts developed with the Mason Gross faculty and staff and through professional internships, Mason Gross design graduates are ahead of the game in their transition into the profession.