BFA Production and Design for Stage and Screen

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BFA in Production and Design for Stage and Screen

Pace School of Performing Arts’ Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production and Design for Stage and Screen is an intensive pre-professional degree focused on training young designers and craftspeople for the entertainment industry.

Our goal is to graduate critically engaged and technologically sophisticated students in the fields of scenery, costumes, stage management, lighting, and sound. Pace School of Performing Arts’ Production and Design major allows the young artist to hone his or her craft in an extensive array of courses devoted to technique. Your work will be grounded in a solid understanding in the history of the art form. You will discover how to think like a designer in engaging and challenging studio classes.

A New Approach

The BFA Production and Design major begins with a core group of classes that emphasize the fundamentals of all design disciplines. Students then move into an area of emphasis in scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, or media by the end of their second year. The advanced level studio and technique classes allow you to focus your course-work with classes in drafting, costume construction, lighting techniques and many more. These courses are paired with an innovative study of the historical and contemporary trends in drama and design. You’ll even take an acting class to understand how performers relate to design.

The Design and Production major is a rigorous major that prepares students for work in the professional industry but also for a lifetime of creative exploration. Incoming students should expect a difficult but rewarding experience in which setbacks are seen as fundamental to the art-making process.

View the Curriculum

A Working Faculty

A faculty of innovative artist-educators is the bedrock of our program. Our teachers maintain active professional careers working on and Off Broadway, in London’s West End, on feature films and in television production. Instead of offering a singular “method”, the faculty offers a diverse range of approaches to the creative and production process. In a collaborative atmosphere, you’ll be encouraged to embrace your own point-of-view. Guided by our master teachers, you’ll learn how to maximize your potential. In exchange, the faculty looks to learn from you. We believe that student work represents cutting-edge trends in how we will think about design and performance in the 21st century.

Showcase Your Talent

Pace School of Performing Arts (PPA) sponsors 40-50 productions per academic year in multiple performance venues. From day one in PPA, our Production & Design majors are in demand for School of Performing Arts productions on and off-campus and in professional venues in New York City.

A Chance To Connect

The program uses its location in NYC, the creative capital of the United States, to create linkages between students and professionals. Throughout the degree program, you will have the chance to engage with the city. Master classes, guest lecturers, internships and workshops with theater and film industry professionals create learning opportunities that are an extension of our classrooms.

Your career begins the day you enter Pace Performing Arts not the day you graduate!

Become One of Us

All applicants must first read the complete portfolio/interview requirements and then upload the required materials to Acceptd. Applicants considered for the program will then be asked to complete a phone or in-person interview with our faculty.

Notes on Preparing a Portfolio:

Your portfolio is a representation of how you think. We want to see your artistic and theatrical ability and/or examples of your production experiences. Don’t show only your theatre or design work! Please include examples of graphic design, drawing, clothing, 2D and 3D design work, computer illustration, video and/or sound compositions. Prior experience in design and production is NOT required for admission, an eager and insightful mind is.

A portfolio for application could include:

  • Artwork, drawings, sketches, paintings, sculptures, photography, graphic or interactive designs (posters, cartoons, websites, etc.) figure drawing, collage, art and design projects, or ceramics of any kind and in any medium/media, or photos of these.
  • Photographs of realized productions you were involved with including scenery, lighting cues, costumes, make-up, etc. Please note CLEARLY your involvement with any collaborative or assisting work. Misrepresenting your role in a project will be grounds for immediate disqualification.
  • Paperwork (including cue sheets, rehearsal reports, budgets, etc.) that relate to your production experience
  • Recordings, compositions or video work you have created

For your actual interview, you may present a paper or digital portfolio. Avoid excessive use of matting, “fancy” fonts and other eye-wash that might be distracting from your ideas. Do include rough and process sketches that show how you think and how you see. Have an advisor or friend take a look at your book and give you some feedback before submitting.

What is most important is to put your BEST work first. Your portfolio should not exceed 20 pages.

Additional Writing Sample:

Applicants interested in pursuing or focusing on production (not design) SHOULD include a short (max. 2 pages) writing sample that showcases your communication skills. All applicants MAY wish to include an additional writing sample. You may choose to write on one of the following subjects. Focus on clarity, insight, grammar and brevity!

  • A performance (play, movie, etc.) that made you understand the world in a new way
  • An experience you’ve had outside of the theater (or the art-world) that was theatrical
  • A problem you’ve had when working collaboratively that taught you something about group dynamics and behavior