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MFA in Theatre Arts - Option in Design (Scenic)

Admissions will be CLOSED for the MFA in Theatre Arts with an Option in Scenic, Lighting or Costume Design through at least the academic year 2021/2022.

Information on Applying and Portfolios is available.


The graduate program in Scene Design at California State University Long Beach is an intense training program preparing students for a career in both the professional and educational theatre. Led by Danila Korogodsky, whose work on the stages of Europe and America is renowned, the program is innovative and challenging.

Our approach emphasizes a concentration on the student's understanding of the conceptual elements of the profession. Scenic designers are encouraged to analyze texts and discover unique, deeply personal responses to the work. We train students who are contemporary, thinking theatrical artists.

Today's theatre requires thorough visual training. The greatest conceptual ideas are worthless if they are not communicated in a clear and exciting way. We offer classes in visual expression, drawing and painting.

Preparing students for the challenge of the ever-changing world of theatre design and leading them toward a life of true artistry is the basic philosophical approach of this program.

Criteria for Admission

Information on Applying and Portfolios is available.


Danila Korogodski heads our scenic design program here. Find out more about Danila, including bio and contact information.

Design Opportunities & Assistantships

Our work is centered around a department that produces a repertory of productions in varying physical spaces and with both undergraduate students and our graduate company, Cal Rep. This affiliation provides our students with the opportunity to execute their scenic ideas repeatedly, and in a professional environment.

The technical aspects of the profession play an important role in the program. Under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals, our students not only design, but also draft and build their own sets.

Most students will be offered an assistantship in their area of concentration. Scenic students work in the scene shop for a majority of their assistantship. Assistantships are approximately $8000 per academic year.

Information about our facilities is available.

Internships & Professional Development Opportunities

Scenic design students are exposed to a variety of influences during their years with us as our program has strong international connections. Two of our recent graduates were selected to represent the United States at the Prague Quadrennial — the most important exhibit of stage design in the world. Guest visitors include designers from the national theaters of Ireland and Hungary, and a number of prominent designers from Europe and the United States.

Student Learning Outcome Goals

  1. Learn the skills necessary to enter and thrive in the professional theatre.
  2. Learn to think conceptually and grasp the content of the story in its totality.
  3. Play an active and positive role in the synergetic creative process of professional theatre.
  4. Participate in the creation and presentation of public performances of theatre.
  5. Develop visual and aural perceptions related to theatre performance, as well as a structured approach to the use of language in writing for and about the stage.
  6. Make informed assessments of quality in works of theatre and live entertainment.
  7. Fearlessly express art that reflects the theatre artist’s individual and personal points of view.


Concentration core classes - Take all of the following:

  • THEA 517 Repertory Theatre I (2)
  • THEA 518 Repertory Theatre II (2)
  • THEA 519 Repertory Theatre III (2)
  • THEA 523 Theory/Practice of Contemporary Theatre (3)
  • THEA 524 Dramaturgy (3)
  • THEA 541 Portfolio Development (3)
  • THEA 544 Visual Concepts in Theatre Design (3)
  • THEA 550 Computer Graphics for Theatre (3)
  • THEA 552 Collaborative Studies (3)
  • THEA 584 Rendering and Painting for Theatre (2)
  • THEA 699 MFA Thesis/Project (1-6)

Scenery Concentration: - Take all of the following:

  • THEA 540 Non-traditional Material Use in Theatre (2)
  • THEA 545 Computer Aided Design for the Theatre (2)
  • THEA 554 Textile Applications in Theatre Design (2)
  • THEA 580A Scene Design I (2)
  • THEA 580B Scene Design I (2)
  • THEA 585A Scene Design II (2)
  • THEA 585B Scene Design II (2)
  • THEA 685A Scene Design III (2)
  • THEA 685B Scene Design III (2)

Take 7 units of electives.

Information on Applying and Portfolios is available.

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