I suggest watching the movies All About Eve and Showgirls (for examples of how NOT TO do it).
Originally Posted by derekleffew
Just found this quote from Tom Skelton's obituary, full text here:
...A genial, witty man, he asked his students at the Yale School of Drama to study everything from French to Picasso to cooking.
"These are all things that make it possible to communicate with the other people you are going to be working with," he said in an interview in Theater Crafts magazine in 1989. "And I certainly don't think you should be studying amps and volts. I don't know very many designers who know very much about amps and volts. You hire an electrician who does."
The lighting designer is expected to communicate with directors more and more. I don't deal with somebody who majors in theatre as an undergraduate. I want a history major, a communication arts major, or an English major. I want somebody who can talk about the history of the 19th century. It is crucial that students have a sense of time and place. It is impossible to do opera unless you understand the 19th century. Or the 20th. Thank God I had taken a lot of classics at Yale before I talked to Martha Graham. ... You can't get into those wonderful, fantastic conversations unless you do have a knowledge of the world behind you. One foot in the humanities, the other in the technical side. It's no longer Leko, Leko, Leko. A broad education is needed not only of the real world but of the humanities, finances, art, and architecture; then they can be a lighting designer or a person in the theatre.
Agree/disagree? What's more important to a designer, electrical calculations or Picasso's expressionism?
How wrong you (and Footer) are, grasshopper:
If you want to be a box pusher, spot op, ME, or even programmer for the rest of your life, don't go to college. If you want to be a good designer, you need the exposure to non-theatre courses that, minimally, a four-year degree offers.