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Southern Oregon University

Master of Theatre Studies in Production and
Design

The Theatre Teacher Training program for high school and community college teachers is a rigorous experience that requires three summers with two intensive weeks in residence in July and considerable individual effort before and after each summer. The program requires practical implementation and documentation of applied design and production projects executed in your own school. Each year of your program will focus on a different type of theatre:  first summer - representational, second summer - musical theatre and 3rd summer - presentational,. The program leads to a Master of Theatre Studies in Production and Design.

What our students say:
  • "There are things that I will take back to use in my classroom from the very first week and ideas that I will be able to use in my productions immediately."
  • "The information learned will be invaluable to me and my program. I have more tools to create richer productions at my school."
  • "The coursework was challenging and it has been exciting to learn many new skills."
Course Work includes:
  • Script analysis of plays of varied styles and time periods with comprehensive discussion of the methodologies of translating dramatic themes into effective direction, design and a unified production
  • Skills for communicating design ideas--research, building models, creating renderings, drafting light plots, and recording sound sketches
  • Safe and cost-effective techniques for realizing design concepts in production--costume, scenic, and properties construction, and lighting and sound engineering
  • Discussion with professionals and colleagues of Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays in production, examining conceptual development of direction and design ideas, and the realization of those concepts into actual productions
  • Stage management, production management, and technical direction techniques
  • New technologies--how they enhance theatre crafts and integrate with theatrical processes
  • Application of new concepts and skills to productions and curriculum development in your own school (see assignments and projects)
  • Thesis project -curriculum culmination consisting of a portfolio reflecting best work samples, a detailed self evaluation paper, and an oral defense of these documents.
  • The SOU Master’s program candidates must complete 9 credits of elective coursework to fulfill their degree requirements.

2015 Elective Course Options:

Winter 2015 Online Course

Workshop/Dramatic Literature/Post Modern Theatre -January 5 - March 20, 2015

Summer 2015 On-Site Elective Courses

July 7-11, 2015

Stage Combat
A week-long, 3-credit, graduate level course geared toward high school and community college theatre educators, covering an introduction to stage combat basics and choreographic techniques. Curriculum will include:  trust and safety partnering, hand to hand combat skills, armed combat techniques, how to “act” and vocalize as well as learning of the special needs required when working with young performers, mass battles, brawls and more.

July 27-31, 2015

Lighting Design: Fundamentals of Lighting Console Programming
A highly hands-on training that will cover the fundamentals of set up, programming, and execution of lighting designs, utilizing the ETC family of computerized lighting consoles.  Students will work with the console every day in both classroom and lighting lab environments, covering topics including all of the basics of manipulating channels and creating lighting cues, as well as creating effects, and the fundamentals of programming moving lights and color mixing fixtures.  The final project will make you feel like a rock star!  This course will utilize the ETC Element and ETC ION consoles for the training, however if your school owns any ETC lighting console many of the techniques learned will apply.  This course will start from the very beginning – “Um, how do I turn it on?” – And will place you confidently at the helm of your lighting console on your next production. 

July 27-31, 2015

Vectorworks – July 27-31, 2015

  • Demystify computer-aided design with the professional CAD package Vectorworks Spotlight 2015
  • Create two-dimensional ground plans, elevations, and section views of scenic designs quickly and efficiently
  • Produce 3-D virtual models easily from the two-dimensional work
  • Generate lighting plots that Interface with your hook-ups and other lighting paperwork
  • Learn how to save time and keep better records of the design work for your productions
  • Explore additional free, downloadable software that you can teach your students
  • Attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land
  • You must have intermediate to advanced personal computing skills to attend this course. Previous      experience with other design programs (PhotoShop, Illustrator, Sketchup, etc.) is a plus. You must also possess a basic understanding of traditional drafting terminology and methods. Each student must bring a      thumb drive; a laptop is recommended. Once you are accepted, we will      send you information for study prior to beginning the course.

Additional Activities:

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival productions
  • Student presentations on research, curriculum, and applied design and production projects

Questions? Check out our FAQ page.

More information on graduate studies requirements

Master of Theatre Studies dates for 2016

July 10-25, 2016:  Main two week session
July 25-29, 2016:  optional week of elective courses