The Design and Production area provides the design and technical elements for the School of Theatre and Bass School of Music. Each year we produce five main stage theatre productions, two fully mounted musicals and two operas, eight Stage II plays, and five children's theatre productions.
Design and production opportunities are structured to give the students practical, realized projects where they are expected to synthesize and apply skills gained in the classroom and from previous experiences. The production assignments will regularly stretch and challenge the students, continually expanding their capabilities as they develop in a mentored environment.
Our students continue to develop their craft during the summer. Design and production majors typically spend their summers working in the profession. In recent years, OCU students have earned positions and internships with: Cirque du Soleil, Santa Fe Opera, Walt Disney World, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Music Theatre of Wichita, Glimmerglass Opera, Busch Gardens Theme Park, Shakespeare Festival of New Jersey, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Light Opera Oklahoma, and Black Hills Playhouse.
The costume design and technology program at OCU is based in preparing our students to effectively visualize, communicate, and realize their own concepts for professional theatre. Courses in costume design cover discussion, style, and the presentation of ideas, as well as the research and historical interpretation involved in design for the stage. Students learn how to successfully implement their designs, aided by the knowledge and guidance of our costume designer and fully staffed costume shop.
Throughout their four years, costume design and technology majors receive hands-on experience in the theatre costume shop- led by our costume technologist, a full-time cutter/draper, first hand, and two professional stitchers. Each semester they will have the opportunity to assist or design for the School of Theatre and School of Music main stage seasons, which include Opera, Musical Theatre, Contemporary Theatre, and Classical Theatre styles. Costume design students study rendering techniques, fashion history, design history, and text analysis, as well as construction and patterning techniques; they also have the opportunity for craft, makeup, and hair design studies within the major. Majors are also encouraged to present at annual regional and national conventions in order to receive additional professional feedback on their work. Ashley Bellet is the resident costume designer, and students will work very closely with both her and the other members of the shop in their pursuit of the BFA in costume design at OCU.
Students in the BFA Design and Production program with a concentration in lighting will work across a gamut of venues and performance styles that they will encounter in professional production. Those with a penchant for the atmospheric and a drive to 'paint' with the intangible medium of light will be immersed in a deep course of study. Students will collaborate on realized lighting designs for a diverse range of productions; from staged plays, to musical theatre, to opera, to theatre for young audiences.
Students will take lighting classes from Aaron Mooney, the School of Theatre's resident lighting designer. Classes include topics such as: basics of stage lighting, computer-aided drafting, master electrician careers, stage lighting for varied performance styles, and non-theatrical lighting design. By utilizing a combination of classroom exercises and realized stage designs, students will continually stretch their limits and push their personal artistic boundaries.
Additionally, research projects in each of the advanced lighting classes, tailored to each student's needs, about world-renowned artists, musicians, and architects will help transform students into well-rounded artists and practitioners of the varied lighting design careers.
The scenic design and production program at OCU is structured to prepare students for the workforce. Students who have a passion for storytelling, a desire to create inventive environments, and a robust work ethic should consider a theatre focus in scenery. The curriculum emphasizes the study of the design process and our production season offers varying levels of opportunities to practice those skills in realized settings.
Students will design scenery for professional Theatre for Young Audience productions, leading up to main stage School of Theatre plays, as well as operas and musicals with the Bass School of Music. They will have opportunities to design in multiple performance spaces from a black box to found/created to a proscenium to a thrust stage. Hands-on experiences are also earned in properties design and scenic painting on all productions. Scenic design students will receive intensive one-on-one mentoring with Jason Foreman, Resident Scenic Designer and Head of Design and Production at Oklahoma City University. In addition, LukE Hadsall leads the scenic production area in his role as Technical Director.
The design and production program offers a wide range of production opportunities in sound design and engineering. Students create all of the sound designs for our theatre productions. These experiences provide a laboratory for the creation of the aural atmosphere and environment of a play. Our varied production season gives students many opportunities in sound design and production. In addition, we provide sound engineering for the musicals in the School of Music. Course work offers the opportunity for study in reinforcement, editing, recording, and mixing. Students also will have access to the professional recording studio in the Bass School of Music.
The stage and production management program at Oklahoma City University is a professionally based training program grounded in the rules and regulations of professional unions such as Actors Equity Association. Jeff Cochran, AEA, serves as the head of this dynamic program. In addition, Courtney DiBlello, AEA, serves as an additional faculty member within the stage management program. The program is rigorous in both the academic and production environments. Course work will explore a wide range of design and production topics while additionally providing courses that focus exclusively in the fields of stage and production management. Production work within both the School of Theatre and the Bass School of Music are in integral part of the program. Students will serve on the stage management teams on a wide range of pieces and scales of productions. By blending both the classroom and the stage, our students are able to consistently push their personal boundaries in order to become active member of our industry.