UTK Department of Theatre

College of Arts & Sciences

Lighting Design Distinctive Features

  • Small Classes: Two students in each area (Costumes, Lighting, Scenery) are admitted every other year.  There are twelve students in design when first and third year students are in the program together. On alternate years there are six students total, or two in each area.
  • Assistantships and Funding: All design students are on assistantships. Full remission of tuition, an annual stipend of about $13,000.00 and $1500.00 annual travel funding.  Total support over three years: more than $142,000.00
  • Travel Abroad Seminar: Fully funded travel to foreign countries to attend master classes with the country’s most celebrated designers.  Cultural programs include museums, plays and operas.
  • The New York Seminar: Students spend a week in NY learning how to assist NY designers, learning how to shop NY for fabrics and vintage clothing and visiting costume exhibitions.
  • LORT Theatre Company: The Clarence Brown Theatre Company. Professional Equity Theatre on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.
  • Professional Guest Designers: Students will have the opportunity to work with guest designers at the Clarence Brown Theatre. Often students are paired in design teams with professional guests.  Also, all of the UTK Design faculty work professionally, both nationally and internationally.
  • Professional Guest Directors: Directors for the plays, whether in the lab theatre season or in the main season are professional guest directors or faculty directors who are also working professionals..
  • Realized Productions: The graduate candidate will design at least 3, possibly more,  realized products with budgets ranging from $500.00 to $12,000.00 in materials.
  • Eight Station Computer Lab: The lab is for the exclusive use of graduate design students. A computer is available to each student 24 hours a day. Printers and scanners are included in the lab.
  • The Design House: The design program has its own house, which includes our classroom, a design studio space for each student, professional matte cutters and a laser cutter.
  • Technology and Design Master Classes: Craft and design master classes are offered annually in skills of various kinds; often as requested by the students.
  • Designer Workshops: A designer workshop is offered most years with an important American or European professional.
  • Drawing and Painting Courses: Our special relationship with professors in the School of Art makes it possible for graduate design students to take classes normally unavailable to non-art majors.
  • Funded Conference Travel: Students receive $1500.00 per year in funding for assistant and conference travel. Travel funding is also available by application to the graduate school.
  • Expenses: Books, art supplies, passport, computer supplies (paper and ink) and a student activities fee. Any travel costs that exceed $1500. per year. Travel, food and housing expenses for the Travel Abroad Seminar are paid for by the University of Tennessee.
  • Specialization in more than one area: Only under special circumstances are students allowed to specialize in more than one area.  However, independent studies may be arranged in other areas to facilitate the candidate’s interests.
  • Design Focus: While we feel it is important for design students to have technical skills with which to get work post graduation, the program focuses primarily on design. A variety of courses and workshops are available in technology, but much time is devoted to developing the students’ artistry, research and interpretation skills.
  • Shop Staffing:  All shops at the Clarence Brown Theatre and the Department of Theatre are staffed with fully professional personnel.  In many cases, your assistantship hours will be to work along side with and learn from these professionals.
  • The Theatres: The department has three theatres.  A 500 seat proscenium theatre, a 350 seat round theatre and a 100 seat lab theatre.

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