Slideshow 1
Slideshow Overlay
Inner Banner 1 Inner Banner Overlay

Technical Design & Production

Through courses on topics from lighting and sound to costumes and management and real-life experience, Ellington’s Technical Design & Production Department (TDP) is raising the next generation of technicians, designers, producers, and arts managers. 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. TDP is chaired by Robin Y. Harris and co-chaired by Thom Woodward. Learn more about TDP in We Are TDP, a video featuring TDP faculty and students speaking about the magic of their behind the scenes work!

Course Work

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 four years. The TDP pre-professional training program focuses on instruction in five core areas of live entertainment: audio, lighting, scenery, costumes and management.


Year 1
Basic Costumes
Stage Craft I and II
Technical Production I
Theatre Operations I

Year 2
Audio Visual Design
Stage Management I and II
Technical Production II
Theatre Operations II

Year 3
Audio Visual Design OR Lighting Design I
Costume Technology
Scenic Technology
Technical Production III
Theatre Operations III

Year 4
Entertainment Careers I
Senior Project Theatre Tech I & II
Technical Production IV
Theatre Design I
Theatre Operations IV

Real-Life Experience

TDP students receive firsthand experience using state-of-the-art tools and equipment while providing technical support for the other Ellington arts departments and guest artist events at the school. Past guest artists include — Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Robert Townsend, First Lady Michelle Obama. TDP students also gain experience working at other venues including The Kennedy Center, The Atlas Theatre, Signature Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Washington DC Convention Center, and Murphy Fine Arts Theatre. This real-life practice gives Ellington students a competitive advantage as they pursue post-secondary degrees or start their careers.

Betty Fenner Davis
(Costume Technology, Basic Costumes, Technical Production)
Robin Harris, Chair
(Curriculum & Logistics Coordinator/Instructor, Entertainment Careers, Stagecraft, Stage Management, Theatre Operations II)
Michael Murray
(Costume Shop Manager, Theatre Operations)
Latrice Negron
(Lighting Instructor)
Thom Woodward
(Audio Visual Technology, Audio Visual Design, Technical Production)
Course Syllabi (2019)
Audio Visual DesignThom WoodwardView Syllabus
Basic CostumesBetty Fenner DavisView Syllabus
Digital Arts TechnologyThom WoodwardView Syllabus
Entertainment CareersRobin HarrisView Syllabus
Senior Project – Technical Theatre I & IIRobin HarrisView Syllabus
Stage ManagementRobin HarrisView Syllabus
Stagecraft I & IIRobin HarrisView Syllabus
Technical Production IV & Theater OperationsView Syllabus
Theatre Design IBetty Fenner DavisView Syllabus
Theatre Design IView Syllabus
Theatre Design IThom WoodwardView Syllabus
Theatre Design IIView Syllabus
Theatre Design IIThom WoodwardView Syllabus