Skip to main content

Theatre - Design and Production


Steve Hnath is able to combine his interests in robotics and theatre in projects like IZZY (Intelligent Scenery Simulation) – a 4x4 motorized platform whose movements around the stage can be controlled wirelessly. 

Majoring in Theatre - Design and Production

Design & Production expands the designer/technician's range of knowledge and expression through the performance of drama. Working as part of a team, students learns to collaborate artistically and technically toward the realization of a theatrical production. Students must possess the ability to comprehend the playwright’s message and communicate it through visual and auditory designs.

Two theatres in Purdue’s Pao Center for Design, Art, & Performance Building opened in fall 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.

Upon completion of the program, Theatre – Design & Production majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their interest in design and production. Student experiences have included:

  • Technical Designer
  • Rigging Supervisor
  • Automation Technician
  • System Integrator
  • Scenic Designer
  • Assistant Lighting Supervisor
  • Costume Designer
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of Theatre – Design and Production, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.
  • Analyzing scripts in order to determine location, set, and design requirements.
  • Developing set designs, evaluating scripts and budgets, and researching information and available locations.
  • Coordinating the activities of writers, directors, managers, and other personnel throughout the production process.
  • Time management/deadline-oriented with a “the show must go on” mentality.

Theatre – Design and Production majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theatre
  • Walt Disney Co.

Graduate School

  • Stanford University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Missouri - KC
  • University of California, Irvine

CLA Career Center