Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Donald P. Lauda


The educational theatre programs in the United States accept as one of their purposes the training of the professional theatre artist. Since the educational theatre began in the 1920's, university theatre departments have garnered criticism over their approach to professional training. No literature was found concerning research of the curriculum best suited to the training or educational development of the costume, lighting, sound, or scene design student.

In the attempt to determine what training or coursework is instrumental in the development of the theatre design student, a questionnaire was sent to two groups: the members of the New York League of Theatres and Producers (NYLTP), and all Stock theatre managers as listed in the Actors Equity Association publication, Current Stock Listings, 1979.

From the analysis of the questionnaire it was found that the educational theatre had failed to adequately train the student of professional design. The fault lay in that the educational theatre did not give enough importance to or opportunity for the application of skills learned in the classroom. Many of the respondents indicated that educational theatre programs could improve by offering work experience similar to the professional theatre.

It was recommended that the educational theatre should encourage technical training through cooperative programs with other departments of the university, and that it develop a reciprocal relationship with the professional theatre in which the design student may apprentice and gain work experience in a professional environment.