The VCUarts Theatre program was included among “The Top 30 College Theatre Design and Tech Programs for 2019-2020” by the New York-based outlet OnStage Blog. The theatre program’s technical track was singled out for its balance of training in scenic, costume and lighting design, as well as its courses that cover practical techniques in sound design, prop construction, makeup and wig making.
The Department of Theatre allows undergraduate students to pursue their degrees in five specializations, three of which focus on technical theatre. Students work under the tutelage of working professionals in small studio classes that afford intimate lessons in the standards of stage and costume design. They can then employ their developing skills in the program’s regular student productions, such as Eclipsed and Sense and Sensibility, premiering this fall. Students interested in mastering their technical knowledge after graduation can apply for an MFA in costume or stage design.
OnStage determined the ranking by consulting a committee of 20 people with connections to theatre school, from educators to alumni and parents.
“We wanted people who knew how to evaluate a performing arts program and what questions to ask,” said OnStage. “This is what we feel separates us from every other college ranking article, these folks know what’s important in theatre education.”
The site clarified that they judged each school according to its total cost, financial support, facilities, opportunities to join student productions, alumni relations and the diversity of both students and faculty members. This year, OnStage also examined each school’s campus safety measures.