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Scenic Design

The Scenic Design program at OCU produces innovative theatre artists who are prepared to enter the entertainment industry as designers, collaborators, and leaders. Our program is grounded on an intensive mentoring process. You will study and work within a regional professional theatre model and be guided by faculty with years of experience in the profession. You will receive individualized mentoring in the areas of scenic design, technical direction, properties design/fabrication, and scenic painting. Our program is led by:

·      Jason Foreman (USA 829) – Professor of Scenic Design / Head of Design & Production

·      Luke Hadsall – Associate Professor & Technical Director

·      Larry Heyman – Adjunct Professor of Properties Design & Fabrication

·      Deb Hicks – Scenic Charge Artist

We offer a rigorous hands-on training program founded in the collaborative process. Students will have the opportunity to work in props design, scenic painting, projections design, and scenic design. During your OCU career, you will design for theatre, musicals, opera, and children’s theatre. You will begin to work on shows during your first month on campus and, on average, you will do two productions per semester. With our professional partnerships, you will also earn professional credits for your resume while you’re still a student. Our graduates are provocative visual storytellers and innovative collaborators who are prepared for the entertainment industry. A typical four-year track of study at OCU will look like the following:

YEARS 1-4

YEAR 1

  • Realized production assignments as Assistant Scenic Designer, Scenic Artist, or Properties Assistant
  • Learning how all pieces of a production are collaboratively created
  • Developing basic skills in script analysis, drawing, rendering, and drafting
  • Hands-on work in scenic painting and construction

YEAR 2

  • Production assignments as Assistant Scenic Designer, Properties Master, or Scenic Artist on main stage shows as well as Scenic Designer for Oklahoma Children’s Theatre and Stage II productions
  • Honing your talents as a collaborative artist and visual storyteller
  • Cultivating your research, 3D visualization, digital design & rendering, and model building skills

YEAR 3

  • Assignments as Properties Master, Scenic Artist, or Scenic Designer for mainstage theatre productions
  • Improving upon your design capabilities and organizational skills  
  • Focus on growth of your design aesthetic and background in Art History, Period Styles and Décor, and beginning advanced elective course work
  • Advanced study in Vectorworks, Photoshop, and other digital media design apps
  • Opportunities for projections and digital media design on productions 

YEAR 4

  • Assignments as Scenic Designer for mainstage theatre, musical theatre, and/or operas
  • Perfecting your abilities through advanced scenic design process in the classroom and onstage
  • Exploring scenic design in other entertainment fields such as themed installations, concerts, corporate events, festivals, award shows, and other special events


PRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES & INTERNSHIPS
  • The OCU Design and Production program is known for numerous opportunities – We produce over 55 productions per year.
  • Students will work on an average of 2 production assignments per semester.
  • You will design, prop, and paint on a variety of productions from multiple genres and styles: plays, musicals, opera, dance, children’s theatre, and special events.
  • Students typically design scenery for a children’s theatre production as a sophomore; then design main stage plays in your junior year and operas & musicals during the senior year.
  • We believe external professional experiences during your college career are also an integral part of your training. You will be required to do at least one summer internship during your time here. Many of our students choose to do more than one summer internship. We believe participating in other professional production process models allows you to actively learn while honing your craft.    
PARTNERSHIPS

Our program is built around the model of leading graduate programs; we have professional training at our core. We have relationships with the leading professional performing arts organizations in Oklahoma City. This results in a one of a kind training experience for our students. During your time at OCU, you will work in a variety of positions with:

Whether it’s on the Production Crew for a ballet, or as a Properties Artisan on a musical, or the Scenic Designer for a Children’s Theatre production, you will see first-hand what it takes to be successful within the industry.

ALUMNI

Over 90% of OCU graduates are hired into a job in the entertainment industry within three months of graduation. Whether it is life in Chicago or New York or touring the world on a cruise line, our students’ paths take a number of routes to success. We have alums working as resident designers and scenic artists at regional theatres around the United States. We have graduates who have worked for leading performing arts organizations such as Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney World, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and Santa Fe Opera. Every student’s journey is unique and it’s our job to help give you the tools needed to succeed in this industry.

STUDY ABROAD

The reality of the entertainment industry today is that we work in a global market. This is a point that our program takes very seriously. With that we are currently developing Study Abroad opportunities with partners around the world to prepare our graduates for the ever evolving industry.

There are multiple options for OCU students to have a Study Abroad experience. These include exchanges with Rose Bruford College in London where students can spend a semester or a summer in England. This experience is designed to allow students to stay on track to graduate within four years. Through the OCU Study Abroad Office, students are able to explore a wide variety of opportunities around the globe. 

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