Lighting Design

American Idiot    American Idiot, Spring 2016

At the U of A, I got excellent training in my classes and, more importantly, many opportunities to put what I learned into practice. The department is large enough to provide a great range of classes and productions, and small enough that each student may experience the whole process of creating theatre.

- Elizabeth Barnes, Emmy nominated casting director, Los Angeles (Medium, Studio 60, Into the West)

The Chairs
The Chairs, Spring 2015

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre: Lighting Design

Developing a strong portfolio of fully realized designs with careful mentorship is a primary goal of the program, along with exploring non-traditional design opportunities through extensive studio course work. Student designers have the opportunity to work in at least three theatre facilities. They will be members of production teams consisting of peer MFA candidates as well as faculty directors and designers.

Lighting design students are encouraged to explore coursework in other design areas to include costume design, scene design, and technical direction. The design curriculum is enhanced by courses offered in other University departments such as Art and Architecture. Designers are supported by well-equipped shops and shop staff employees. The scene shop is headed by an experienced full-time faculty Technical Director.

For more information, please contact Shawn Irish at

Lighting Design Courses Include

THTR5353 Stage Lighting Technology (Irregular) The thorough examination of the technology of equipment that supports the art of stage lighting design: theory, operating principles and specification of lamps, fixtures, control systems and special effect hardware will be explored. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

THTR5383 Lighting Technology Studio (Sp) Individual and advanced projects in lighting technology with emphasis on light sources, lighting control, equipment design and specification and the mechanics of lighting. Contributes to on-going portfolio development. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor consent. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

THTR5393 Lighting Design Studio (Fa) Individual projects in lighting design with emphasis on the design process involving script interpretation, design aesthetics and research. Lighting design applications to a variety of venues will be studied. Contributes to on-going portfolio development. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor consent. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

For a complete list of graduate courses, please visit the catalog of studies.