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Lighting Design or tech theatre colleges

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by Shakspeares suck, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    Hey CB, I am currently a High school Jr. and my mother is getting on my butt about searching for colleges. I want to go to a college where i can get alot of tech theatre experience and where i can major in preferably Lighting Design. Areas I am interested in going are Colorado, Seattle, New york, California, or anywhere else with a lot of tech theatre or theatre in general. Please help me by giving my suggestions and telling me if its a good place to actually go for college and be a college student. i want to have a really good college experience. thanks all
     
  2. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    Personally, I went to Emerson College, in Boston, MA. I got my BFA in Design/Technology with a concentration in Lighting. The college is located in the heart of the Boston theater district and has facilities under 10 years old, with the exception of the mainstage. They own and operate the Cutler Majestic Theater (Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, Boston, MA) which is a fully functioning road house restored to its 1903 design (minus the lower-class separate entrance).

    When I left, they had two other brand new theater spaces, but they have added a few new buildings since I've graduated and I'm not sure what has gone into them. The program served me well, but I loved the experience of it much more.

    The big thing about Emerson (and probably of all colleges) is that you get a lot out of it, if you want to. Emerson has many opportunities to get involved in student performance groups, assigned shows, and the connections to freelance around Boston to get the most out of it all. A great opportunity is their annual awards show: the EVVY awards. This is (I believe) the largest student run production in the country. It is after the spring semester is over, and it is a live awards show in the Majestic Theater, with a live audience as well as a live video broadcast. It is a great mesh of the theater and the video people.

    I feel I'm running on a bit, but if you want to know more, feel free to ask.

    [Edit:]
    Also, you might want to look into Live Production Institute (www.lpivegas.com). It just opened up here in Vegas maybe a year ago, if not less. When I looked through their course listings, I was very jealous of some of the classes they offer. I'm hoping the rumor I heard, that they are hoping to offer master classes to those already in the business, turns out to become true in the next couple years. And it would be handy to go to school in Vegas because we have LDI here every other year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Can't post the link because of the mobile thing, but do a search about that program on here, there was a guy on lightnetwork that posted an in depth story about that program and why it should be avoided at all costs.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    [edit: See this thread: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/education/8153-fullsail-picture-time.html.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2009
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The forum is The LightNetwork and you'll have to do a search for "Live Production Institute Las Vegas" and since the last post was back in October, you'll have to change your search criteria to at least six months. The original poster in that thread, who had issues with LPI, has either deleted his own posts or had them deleted for him, so it may create some difficulty in reading. I am still hopeful for this school as well, especially if they offer individual classes and certifications.

    As to the OP in our thread, bravo to your mom! I wish someone would have lit a fire under my butt before my senior year. I might have made different choices. When choosing a school for lighting design, make sure that you find who has the most opportunities for you to experiment. You won't learn as much when you only have the opportunity to see your designs in one or two productions. When you find that program, take every opportunitiy that you have to get out and work in your field. This should be a mixture of professional and student productions so that you get to learn the differences. If you are serious about lighting design, make sure that you aren't looking for a school with great extra-curricular activities. I'd also look at schools that have an architecture program as well. When I spoke with some Broadway designers, many of them also do architectural lighting design.

    Sorry I can't offer suggestions of specific schools, I went to a small state college for my theater work as I wasn't planning on this as a career at the time.
     
  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  6. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I am a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. While I can't really tell you what their current program is like, having graduated in 1998, I can tell you that when I was there the technical theatre courses were very good and there was plenty of opportunity to get hands on experience. I wish I'd been able to take better advantage of those opportunities, but the realities of earning a living got in the way. The undergrad lighting design courses were a renumbered version of the graduate level courses, so while the assignments were different for the undergrads, the undergrads were given the same lessons as the grad students. My work on the school shows lead to paying work at a roadhouse on campus.

    Other UC and Cal State schools should also have good technical theatre programs, with good hands on opportunities.
     
  7. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    Anywhere else guys? thanks for the input more is welcome though
     
  8. Nikgwolf

    Nikgwolf Member

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  9. DarkLight12

    DarkLight12 Member

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    I would definitly check out Carnegie Mellon, Depaul, and Syracuse some schools that were suggested to me. I ultimately chose to go to Bowling Green State University because I would be getting an all-around education including and not just lighting design. Here at BG it's not neccessarily the best there is in the nation but the program is good and the people are really nice and willing to adapt to your needs. The cool thing about BG is that the study abroad program is one of the best in OH also it's a division I school so if you like sports it's really awesome to go to one of the many games. Anyways, so I stop sounding like an ad, umm Depaul has a specific lighting design degree...problem is that you can not take any classes outside of your major which in today's economy you want to know as much as you can so you can get more jobs. Syracuse is very art based. Carnegie Mellon is amazing but they have a 28% acceptance rate soooo on that note have fun choosing your school!
     
  10. mrtrudeau23

    mrtrudeau23 Well-Known Member

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    the university of wisconsin - stevens point has a great undergrad program for tech theatre (currently a sophomore here). we do 7 shows a year, 2 of them dance shows, and 90-95% of designs for department shows are student realized designs. our department really stresses portfolios and have us practice portfolio presentations in our reviews at the end of each semester. the campus is really nice as well, located in central wisconsin. the department also requires a separate interview process to be accepted to the BFA design tech major.
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    If the time comes to consider any of the schools that are part of the City University of NY, Brooklyn College included, then PM me and I'll tell you why they are cheap and still not worth it.

    Steve B.
     
  12. dsager

    dsager Member

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  13. BanditRO

    BanditRO Member

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    UNCSA...or for the old school types, NCSA. Either way a great place to learn!
     
  14. 4Jolig

    4Jolig Member

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    Im currently looking at Carnegie Mellon for Lighting Design my self. With the research I've done on the the school and from what I've heard, it seems to be one of the best schools Technical Theater. They have a lot of opportunities, plus some fantastic resources there. Plus I know a kid that graduated from the LD program there last year. He went to my school and I also worked on a show with him two summers ago. He really liked the programs, and so far he has worked on the country music awards, grammy's, Oscars, Conan, plus a bunch of other stuff and only almost a year out of college.
     
  15. metti

    metti Active Member

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    Also check out Boston University, NYU, CalArts, and SUNY Purchase. Those are all well regarded BFA programs that offer majors in Lighting Design. Feel free to PM me with questions about BU. if you are more interested in a non-conservatory education (BA) then add Northwestern to your list of schools to check out.
     
  16. Blake

    Blake Member

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    Has anybody been to CalArts? My brother-in-law has his sights set on going their for film. I understand it was founded by Walt Disney. Which sounds likea good recommendation.
     
  17. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    While only one member has it listed as to Cal-Arts being their alma-mater (ControlBooth Member College Demographics - ControlBooth), the graduation date listed was also 1984. That being said, I have heard very good things about the program in general.
     
  18. JBrennan

    JBrennan Member

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    Santa Clara University in California has a great Theatre Arts degree and tech theatre program as well as grants and scholarships available. One thing I would consider that I have mentioned before is whether you want an undergrad school that has a grad school attached. My experience when researching colleges was that schools with MFA programs attached often had fewer to no chances for undergraduate students to design as all those opportunities were given to graduate students. As an undergrad at Santa Clara I was designing lighting for shows my first year and continued to do bigger and bigger shows for the next 3 years. Every program is different but of the ones I looked at, I certainly appreciated not having to assist graduate students dozens of times before designing myself. It also gave me a great understanding in the hands on side of electrical and scenic work and not purely a design focus with no hands on experience.
     
  19. StNic54

    StNic54 Active Member

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    Man I hope this guy chose a college by now. If he is still in HS, college may not be for him.
     
  20. Blake

    Blake Member

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    Yeah I hope so!
    And I have a friend who just got accepted in to Santa Clara, so that could cool. Thanks!

    Sent from my Galaxy S3
     

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