Theatre Design & Production

The Design and Production Program at Purdue University seeks to expand the young designer/technician's range of knowledge and expression through the performance of drama. The director/designer must possess the ability to comprehend the playwright’s message and communicate it through visual and auditory designs.

The student will receive a solid foundation in all aspects of theatre as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Working as part of a team, the student learns to collaborate artistically and technically toward the realization of a theatrical production. Each student may choose to focus in any given area.

The major consists of Theatre Core Classes, Specialized Training, and Related Required Courses. Upon completion, the student may choose to enter any communication-related field or pursue further graduate study for a career in the entertainment industry.

Points of Pride

  • Two new theatres in Purdue’s new Visual Performing Arts Building opened in 2005. The Nancy T. Hansen Theatre is a proscenium house seating 300 people, while the Gordon Mallett Studio Theatre features a flexible configuration and seats 105-155 people. These new theatres complement additional, larger campus venues.
  • The study of Theatre includes both the classroom study and practical application of those studies. Therefore, the student is encouraged and expected to be an active member of our production community. In this laboratory setting, the student not only applies information and ideas learned in classes, but also learns the critical life lessons of responsibility, commitment, and cooperation, which are crucial skills needed for survival in the 21st century.


  • Sound designer
  • Light designer
  • Scenic designer
  • Costume designer
  • Technicians
  • Production Staff
  • Designers, technicians and production staff for live theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance, concerts, event lighting, touring and corporate shows.
  • Students have also branched into related fields including television, film, architecture, video games and manufacturers of entertainment products.
  • Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to theatre arts but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set.
  • Graduate school

Plan of Study

A minimum grade of "C-" or better is required for a THTR course to be counted towards the major. 

Pre-Major Requirement (3)

THTR 20100 Theatre Appreciation (Aesthetic Awareness)

A. Foundation Studies (25)

THTR 15001 Introduction to Drafting for Theatre
THTR 15002 Intro to Scenery Construction Tools & Techniques
THTR 15003 Introduction to Rigging
THTR 16000 Intro to Scenic Design/Technology
THTR 16100 Intro to Costume Design/Technology
THTR 16200 Intro to Lighting Design/Technology
THTR 16300 Intro to Sound Design/Technology
THTR 16400 Intro to Theatre Org. and Management
THTR 23300 Acting: Acting Technique
THTR 38000 History of Theatre I
THTR 38100 History of Theatre II
THTR 44000 Directing: Page to Stage

B. Production (12)

1. Choose One of the following practicum courses: 
(enrollment is by interview for THTR 36800 and DANC 36800; all courses may be repeated)

THTR 36800 Theatre Production
DANC 36800 Dance Sound Design

2. Select THREE courses of the following design & production courses in THTR

THTR 27000 Theatre Materials & Techniques
THTR 36000 Scenic Design I
THTR 36100 Costume Design I
THTR 36200 Lighting Design I
THTR 36300 Sound Design

C. Electives in Theatre (8)

Select Eight Credits from other courses in Theatre.
(NOTE: Unselected courses from area B2 may be substituted here.)

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print Plan of Study

Department of Theatre

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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