Hi everyone!

I just joined and figured I should take advantage of all the great minds at this site! I am going to be a senior this year (scary I know!) and I have been looking for colleges... I am the tech director at my high school and I was hoping to go to college for theater tech, but I am having a hard time finding colleges who focus on the technical aspect of theater (I am search stupid) so if you can give me a few names of some good colleges that would be really helpful!


Weleome to! I guess you are Green! haha! (i'm just glad you didnt pick gray or something else that would be really hard to read against the black bakground of this site)

There are lots and lots of posts arround the forums here about colleges. Give the search feature a whirl and see what you can dig up, otherwise, please try to give us abit more information to work with. For example, are you looking to travel far from ohio for college? In my own oppinion, there is no perfect college for everyone, and I find giving college advice very difficutl because often the person I would be giving the advice to is quite different then me.

I hope you can find some information that can help you along, and others should be by to offer their ideas too. Please look arround the site and feel free to post comments on topics already being discussed or ask your own questions too!

Welcome To
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hi! welcome to CB. im going to let other people do the welcoming.

i too am looking at collages, and this is what ive found so far.

ive been told that the top 5 colleges for theatre design are
1) College of Santa Fe
2) SUNY Purchase
3) University of Southern California
4) Yale
5) Carnegie Mellon

im currently looking at Purchase, Columbia of Chicago, College of Santa Fe, University of Southern Cali.

also, if you want to see colleges that offer majors in theatre design, go to, click on CollegeMatchmaker on the front page, under college search. go to majors, type theatre as a keyword, and select Theatre Design and Tech. then See Results.
you can also narrow it down using other methods.
Hey thanks guys, I know what I said didnt really tell you what I was interested in... I dont mind travelling far from Ohio (right now the further the better hehe)... as I said earlier I am search stupid, so I will try to use that web site you suggested Zac... thanks again!
no problem.
since Collegeboard does the SATs and various other major college things, theyve kinda become the standard for college searches.
Some colleges to consider may be:

1) USC (University of Southern California) great program, no master’s degree there, which is in fact, a good thing. More work the bachelor’s people. None of the master’s degrees to take work away from you. They have a good theatre program all around and have 4 different technical majors - Design, Tech Direction, Stage Management, and one other which as slipped my mind. Over-all appears to be a very good college for a bachelors program. However, it is an expensive school and not too easy to get into.

2) University of Miami very similar to USC, except it's in Miami, personally I don't think it is as good since USC is in LA giving you a nice place to make a name for yourself. Do at least keep in mind the area of where you're going to college. It may help you in the future to be near a big theatre area.

3) Yale - common misconception with Yale seems to be that people think it has a great Bachelors program. Which, classes wise it in fact does not. It as an AMAZING Masters program but they only offer one bachelors degree which is Theatre Studies, where you basically learn about the history of theatre. However, a good side of Yale is the fact they do over 200 productions a year, ample opportunity to get a chance to work. This is though, Yale we're talking about so of course extremely hard to get into and very costly (about the same as USC). Perhaps not the best choice for someone doing their bachelors degree.

- Ok done with detail -
- Other colleges to look into:
Harvey Mudd
Emerson College (somewhat specialized, not completely)
Carnegie Mellon
Arizona State University (eww bad weather…. No offense to anyone living there)
University of California – Santa Cruz or Los Angeles (both decent)
At the top of my head those are all I can think of, I’m sure there are a million more

There are also plenty of specialized colleges such as the California Institute of the Performing Arts and such. However, personally I don't know how "wise" it is to go to these types of schools. Not because of their program because of course it's going to be good, but because of not only competition getting in but think of how many people are there for the same thing. Getting a chance to do a lot is going to be hard. And of course they normally all have masters programs which means even less opportunity to get to take a big job early on. Please no one take offense to my opinion on specialized colleges, it’s just a thought of mine, something to consider.
also, syricuse (sp?)
as i mentioned before, look at Purchase. ive talked to about 75 to 100 profesianals about purchase, and every single one said "i would hire a brand new designer who just graduated from purchase, before every single designer who just finished college"
that in its self is whats pushing me there.
I probably should have mentioned that I am not the worlds brightest person (if you havent noticed my speeling) any way I have also heard about carnegie mellon... i was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on that school, such as how good the program was and all... I really really really appreciate all your help! thanks!
You should also look at North Carolina School of the Arts. It is an arts conservatory which means that it is very focused. The School of Design and Production has Several majors to pick from: Lighting Design, Scene Design, Sound Design, Costume Design, Tech Director, Sound Engineer, Wig & Makeup, and Electrician that I can think of right now. They are a state school so the expense is lower that private schools. NCSA grads are very loyal to one another (showing up in a place like NYC you just have to find grads from the classes ahead of you and you can track down work if its there). There is also Drama, Dance, Music, and Film Making Schools there. All of the general studies classes are in the morn. then you focus on your area the rest of the day. Each year as a tech you will work on at least 3 shows and also have the chance to work with the local IATSE (635) which is a good place to learn even more and make some extra money. Here is a link to the website:

I'm always glad to answer any questions I can about the school (I'm class of 2001).
I'm an alum of Emerson College, in Boston, would be glad to answer any questions you have about the school if you're interested.

Do you have a particular area you want to focus on yet, or are you still exploring different aspects of theatre? That can affect things, too.

I'd write in more detail, but I'm in the middle of a crazy weekend--worked as FOH system tech for Anna Nalick, Tyler Hilton, and Aaron Carter (as well as mixing Aaron) at the Six Flags park here in NJ last night, did a Klezmer band tonight, and am back at Six Flags to tech for Kansas tomorrow--so I'm going to crash, which I should have done hours ago!

You're from ohio, you say? I know a couple people here at BU from ohio in the production/design program who love (I personally do not). but its a good school for the theatre and whatnot, definately check it out.
Heres a few things I probably should have said a while ago...

1) I am from Ohio (for disc2slick)

2) I dont mind travelling far from home

3) Im not exactly the smartest person in the world (so no ivy league)

4) Money is kind of an issue here, I know I can get loans and all, but I'd rather be making money by the time I am 35, rather than turning around and giving my pay check to someone else.. (so nothing over about $30,000/year)

5) What I want to go to college for - I am really interesting in light and sound design, however coming from a school that has so little to offer light and sound wise I am really worried that I am going to get there and make a complete idiot out of myself with my lack of knowlege...

I am one of those people who thinks if they wont be perfect at it they shouldn't be doing it, so I sometimes I give up before I try something if I know I wont do it perfectly, or if I don't think I'll understand what I am doing, and I know that's why we attend college, to learn... But people go to college with atleast some knowlege, and I feel like I don't have any....

anyway, thank you all for your help I really appreciate it! You guys are the best... Andy, I will look up Emerson college online, and if I have any questions I know who to ask... thanks again!
Don't worry about not knowing anything when you get to college, everyone just thinks they know something when they get there but they really don't. At NCSA Norman Coates (head of the lighting program) makes sure everyone realizes that they don't know know nearly as much as they think, and then teaches them his way of doing things (which is all anyone can do anyway).
Andy, I just finished looking at Emerson College and filled out a form for more information... I wanted to thank you guys so much, you have really helped out alot, while I am still in the dark about what I am going to be doing I have a little bit of a better idea now, thanks again, and I know if I have any questions I can always ask you all! :mrgreen:
Good Luck in your decision. Going to the right school is the most important decision right next to choosing your major. Don't forget a portfolio. Very important, Drafting, Rendering, and pictures. If you have any questions please let me know. I graduated SUNY Purchase as a TD.
What I would like to know is what school has the best toys!

I should probably put my two cents into the matter, being as it is, I recently graduated from a small liberal arts college. At this school the Theater Dept. consisted of two professors and a part time scene shop supervisor. That having been said the college had little to offer me, except the opportunity to make of it what I would have.

In those four years I was able to use my knowledge and my continued search for knowledge to create my own niche. The old saying "Make of it what you will" really does apply. I could have spent four years bitching about the department, but instead I spent four years being the ciriculum giune (did I spell that right) pig. While setting presedents can be frustrating the rewards are far worth it.

So there is that to be said for small liberal art colleges.

However, the best piece of advice I can empart on you is to go to college where you can live. College is more than school, while you are there, it is a good chance it will be your life for the time you are there. Therefore it is important to go to school somewhere where you can call it home.

So in the next four years.... break stuff.
Thanks for the advice jyenish, My college search is slowing down due to the fact that the information I have requested from the colleges has yet to come in... Also I have band camp (yeah, I am a total dork) Any way, I have concidered a small liberal arts school (quite a few actually) but then the voice in the back of my head (which I am convinced is really my mom) keeps saying "what if you want to change majors?" If I was at a state university it wouldnt be much of a problem but if it is at a school dedicated to the fine arts it would be harder to change (right?) Also, Im not really gifted in the tech area... so the wussy side of me that isnt willing to do something that might make me fail isnt really considering going to a college where people KNOW what they are doing (hehe) Any way, thanks again, and I was wondering, has any body had (or are you having) this much trouble when it comes to college searches and what you want to do with your life? (Maybe its just me!)

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