Skip to main content

Theatrical Design

The Theatrical Design Module prepares undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career as a theatrical designer. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the module, students should:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of professional theatrical design practices. 
  • Demonstrate professional technique and necessary design skills in area of interest. 
  • Demonstrate analysis of text for theatrical performance from a design prospective. 


Theatrical Design Course Requirements


Recommended opportunities for application and practice on campus: 

  • Assisting for a Wirtz Main Stage production. 
  • Produced design for a Wirtz, Imagine U, or StuCo Production. The student is given mentorship through the design process (from point of view statement, research, sketches, storyboards, through production photographs). 

Recommended opportunities for projects, practice, and internships off campus: 

  • Acting as an assistant to a faculty designer on a professional production. 
  • Receiving a summer internship for a professional theatre. 

Community Building Activities 

  • Attending Chicago Area Productions and participating in post show discussions with members of the creative team. 
  • Attending lectures, arts events, and professional theatre design presentations. 
  • Attending Wirtz Productions as a group and participating in post show discussions with members of the creative team. 


The Capstone for this module is a personal professional portfolio which should include (but not be restricted to) the following components: 

  1. Three Design projects from class and production that demonstrate a process for creating a theatrical design, reflect a working knowledge of professional theatrical design practices, and exhibit necessary design skills in the design area of interest. 
  2. A professional design resume and bio. 
  3. An artist statement that outlines creative goals achieved and next steps for their creative work. 

Sponsoring Department: Department of Theatre

Module Coordinator: Eric Southern

Faculty Committee Members: Marcus Doshi, Eric Southern, Ana Kuzmanic, Todd Rosenthal, Andrew Boyce, Linda Roethke

Module Advisor: Brianna Borger

How to Enroll

This module is available to all NU undergraduates.

All Northwestern University students are eligible for the Theatrical Design Module. Students will be admitted into the Module following an interview to determine their acceptance in the Module. After being admitted, students will be guided by a mentor from their track in the selection of optional courses to match their specific area(s) of interest in design. 

After taking the introductory course, students should schedule a meeting with the design module coordinator, Eric Southern, to map out a preliminary course of study and to declare the module.

Grade Policy

Students must maintain a B- average in module coursework. If their average falls below B-, they will not be permitted to submit a capstone.