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Technical Design & Production

"It's an art if it can't be explained. It's fashion if no one asks for an explanation. It's design if it doesn't need explanation."

- Wouter Stokkel

In courses on topics from lighting and sound to costumes and management, this department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts is raising the next generation of technicians, designers, producers, and arts managers. Working on professional arts and performance projects, students in Technical Design and Production gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Well grounded academically, Duke Ellington School students also receive firsthand experience using current equipment in a professional atmosphere. This real-life practice gives Ellington students a competitive advantage as they pursue post-secondary degrees or start their careers.

The Technical Design and Production (TDP) department provides a pre-professional training program that focuses on instruction in five core areas of live entertainment: audio, lighting, scenery, costumes, and management. TDP majors pursue a graduated sequence of increasingly demanding courses in Technical Production, Theatre Operations, Theatre Fundamentals, Theatre Management, and Design, to include a capstone class in Entertainment Careers and Professional Development at the end of their fourth year.

TDP provides technical support for all events in the school.  In addition to supporting the other arts departments at Ellington, TDP technicians also support guest artists that come to Ellington—Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Robert Townsend, First Lady Michelle Obama—and gain experience working at other venues to include The John F. Kennedy Center, The Atlas Theatre, Signature Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Washington DC Convention Center, and Murphy Fine Arts Theatre.  With careers in production in high demand, our goal is that upon graduation, students will have acquired the skills to prepare them competitively for college and/or jobs in the entertainment industry.

Click here for SY17-18 department handbook.


Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Fundamentals: Basic Stage Craft Stage Management I* & Stage Management II* Design II:Intermediate Stage Craft Design III & IV
Fundamentals: Basic Stage Lighting Design I: Computers in the Arts Intermediate Stage Lighting Entertainment Careers I* & Internship*
Fundamentals: Basic Costumes Audio Visual Technology Theatre Management I Theatre Operations III
Play/Script Analysis Theatre Operations I Intermediate Audio/Video Technology Senior Technical Production Showcase
Technical Production I Technical Production II Technical Production III Technical Production IV

To pay Arts Fees click here.