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Design & Production at Arts Academy


Why Study Design & Production

The best theatrical experiences transport audiences to a whole new world—through the magic of design and production. In this program, you'll learn to identify, visualize, and create practical designs for the theatre and beyond.

What You'll Learn

In the Design & Production major, you'll develop the conceptual and the practical skills needed to bring a stage performance to life. You'll study stage management, costume and set design, lighting and sound operations, and other concepts of stagecraft. You'll develop the technical vocabulary and communications skills to effectively collaborate with directors and fellow designers. Best of all, you'll have the chance to put theory into practice by working on productions throughout the year.

You'll work closely with the Director of Design & Production, who will serve as a guide and mentor. Together, you'll find your unique voice within a project. You'll also have the opportunity to learn and collaborate with instructors across different departments. By graduation, you'll have a strong portfolio to help you take the next step of your artistic future.

As a student of the Design & Production program, you will:

  • Apply the empathetic design process in the theatre
  • Synthesize the elements and principles of design
  • Evaluate the varied and important technical roles that exist within a production
  • Communicate in a professional and interpersonal manner as it pertains to theatre production and design
  • Apply critical thinking and creative problem-solving techniques to theatrical design and productions by developing unique and creative solutions
  • Contribute to the storytelling process
  • Gain skills that can be applied to a variety of productions and presentations, within and outside of the theatre

Core Curriculum

Portfolio Requirements

For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics

Meet the Faculty

Stephen John

Director of Theatre Design & Production

All Faculty

Get to know Charlotte

"Interlochen has taught me that the opportunities are endless. As long as I work hard and strive to be the best person I can be, I am able to achieve anything." - Charlotte, Design & Production

Guest Artists

In the past year, Theatre students have learned from and collaborated with the following artists:

  • Wendy Froud, sculpter, writer, and puppermaker for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth
  • Jon Infante, Infante Media
  • Meghan McCarthy, TV and Film Set Designer
  • Edward Morris, Set and Projections Designer
  • Kevin Nelson, Theatre Set Designer
  • Jeffery Rockey, Props Master at South Coast Rep and La Jolla Playhouse
  • Jon Sparks, Makeup and Wig Designer
  • Richard Winkler, Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and lighting designer

Program Highlights

Production Opportunities

Design & Production majors gain hands-on experience working on up to 17 productions each Academy year. Through this program, you'll apply your learning directly to the production season in capacities ranging from stage manager to assistant director to primary designer.

Theatre Venues & Facilities

Our campus boasts several state-of-the-art performance venues and facilities. The Harvey Theatre Complex contains classrooms, rehearsal spaces, and a 173-seat theatre. We also have two additional performance spaces, the 952-seat Corson Auditorium and the 170-seat black box Phoenix Theatre. The Mallory Costume Shop and our professional scene shop are state-of-the-art spaces also dedicated to our theatre program. Learn more about all of our facilities and venues.

Theatre Design & Production Showcase for Festival 2020

For the "Draft Your Room Project," Design and Production students demonstrate their ability to work with computer-aided drafting and 3D modeling tools to create an accurate rendering of their "at home" living space.

Dane Laffrey and Michael Arden

From Interlochen Roommates to Once on This Island

Interlochen alumni Dane Laffrey and Michael Arden sit down for Interlochen Center for the Arts With Special Guest podcast following the duo’s latest production, Once on this Island. Once roommates at Interlochen, Michael, the director, and Dane, the scenic designer, are frequent collaborators on stages both on and off Broadway. 

Listen to Dane & Michael's Interview

College Matriculation

Theatre students regularly enroll in top acting programs and conservatories, as well as prestigious undergraduate institutions including:

  • Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Colorado State University
  • Cornell University
  • DePaul University
  • Florida State University
  • Fordham University
  • George Washington University
  • Harvard University
  • Howard University
  • Indiana University
  • The Juilliard School
  • Kent State University
  • Kenyon College
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • The New School
  • New York University
  • Pace University
  • Purchase College State University of New York
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  • Rutgers University
  • Smith College
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of the Arts
  • University of Hartford
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Webster University
  • Wright State University