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BFA in Design & Production: Setting the Stage for Success

What is the Design & Production curriculum?

D&P core courses cover all facets of design and production, including aesthetics, theory, history, literature, graphics, technology and crafts. In addition to classroom study, you'll work on shop and crew assignments to hone your skills. These courses are balanced with 52 credits of liberal arts courses, for a total requirement of 123 credit hours.

The Design & Production faculty are working professionals with extensive theater credits. They will conduct a portfolio review of your design and production work in your sophomore, junior and senior years. Your portfolio will be displayed in a public showing following the review.

U-M Theatre classes are held in the fall (September-December) and winter (January-April) terms. During the summer months, many students hone their talents working in summer stock and theatre festivals.

Design & Production Requirements

Theatre Course List

What design and production opportunities are available for D&P majors?

University Productions:

Every year the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance presents ten fully-staged productions and a number of studio productions in the areas of drama, opera, musical theatre and dance in three different theatres. D&P majors work as shop assistants, stage managers and technicians for each production. On occasion talented students may design costumes, sets, or lighting for these productions.

Basement Arts:

The student-run Basement Arts company presents 25 or 30 studio productions each year. Students produce the plays. Performances are presented on weekends, generally in Studio One.

Other University of Michigan Productions:

Majors also design various plays produced by such university groups as the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, MUSKET, the Rude Mechanicals,and others.

Local theatre groups:

A number of our faculty and students work with two local Equity theatres, the Performance Network and the Purple Rose Theater, founded by actor Jeff Daniels, Arbor Opera Theatre, Burns Park Players, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, as well as a number of traditional and non-traditional theatre companies in the area. In addition students often work with high school theatres in the area. The Michigan Shakespeare Festival, located in Jackson, MI, runs mid-July through August.

What will my career options be after graduation?


Who can I talk to about the BFA program?

Call the U-M Theatre Department at: (734)764-5350. Ask to speak with an advisor in the Design & Production program.

How do I apply to the BFA in Design & Production degree program?

The easiest way is to apply online.  Upload all the additional documents you can (essays and resumé) with the online application. 

Send your SAT or ACT test scores, academic recommendations, and your transcripts to the U-M Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Send your performing arts recommendation, resumé and photo to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Office of Admissions.

The application review is a three-step process:

  • The School's Admissions Office will screen your application for academic eligibility (including grade point average and ACT or SAT scores).
  • If you are academically eligible for consideration, you'll be contacted by the Theatre Department to confirm a portfolio review with the the Design & Production faculty.
  • After your audition or interview, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office will make the final determination regarding acceptance. A decision letter is sent as soon as that decision has been made.

See the Auditions & Interviews page for more detailed information.

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower