Performance Production:
Areas of Study

Performance Production faculty, all highly accomplished professional designers and artists, provide students with instructional evaluation and feedback as well as mentorship during the actual production process.

Performance Production Scene Shop

Areas of Study

You can download detailed degree requirements + course descriptions here:

Costume Design

Cornish’s Costume Design Concentration places emphasis on the creative process of each individual designer, whereby each student will learn techniques to unlock their own point of view for any given project. This foundation is then built upon, as each designer adds to it the learned steps of play and character analysis, research and costume rendering. As with all concentrations in Performance Production, the cornerstone is collaboration. By co-creating with one’s fellow designers, director and actors, the Costume Designer evolves their design.

The faculty, all highly accomplished professional designers and artists, provide students with instructional evaluation and feedback as well as mentorship during the actual production process.

While Costume Design students may work in different capacities on productions in their first year, their work will be increasingly focused in the Costume area as they progress, so that the successful student will be working as primary Costume Designer on fully realized productions in their final years.

Lighting Design

The Lighting Designer reveals the world of the play, establishes the time of day, the time of the year, possibly even the geographical location. A lighting cue may establish movement, passage of time, motivation of characters, and a wide range of emotional states.

While Lighting Design students may work in different capacities on productions in their first year, their work will be increasingly focused in Lighting as they progress, so that the successful student will be working as primary Lighting Designer on fully realized productions in their final years.

Scenic Design

As a visual storyteller and architect of the imagination, the scenic designer is the creative team member responsible for both conceiving and communicating to others the overall visual appearance and function of the physical performance environment. To translate their design idea from its initial concept to a fully realized production, the scenic designer will collaborate with a director and team of fellow designers and technicians, they will analyze and interpret the text, they will dive deeply into visual research, they will produce sketches and renderings of the various sets and properties, they will create detailed scale models of the scenery, and they will draft plans that fully describe the intended setting of the production.  

Scenic Design students will work in many different capacities on both realized productions and class projects during their time at Cornish. As they progress, their realized production work will be increasingly focused on the areas of props and paint, as well as directly assisting the lead scenic designers, with the goal for the successful student to be working as the primary scenic designer on fully realized productions during their final years. Academically, a focus on craft will be shared with training that hones the student’s interpretive artistic point-of-view and develops their skill at collaboration.

Sound Design

Wind howls across the bleak landscape, thunder is heard in the distance, the sound of footsteps becomes audible as the lights fade up from black. In just 20 seconds, in the dark, before any actor is on stage, the Sound Designer has transported the audience into the world of the play. Sound has such a visceral connection to the human psyche, the audience may even shiver when they hear that cold wind, and they can tell what direction those footsteps are coming from before they see the actor approach.

While Sound Design students may work in many different capacities on productions in their first year, their work will be increasingly focused in the area of sound as they progress, so that the successful student will be working as primary Sound Designer on fully realized productions in their final years.

Stage Management

At the hub of every production, connecting the actors with the director and designers and technicians, the Stage Manager is an essential partner on the creative  team. Stage Managers use their artistry to make it all happen.  From calling cues, chairing meetings, supporting the rehearsal hall and managing a team, the stage manager is at the nexus of the production process. A good Stage Manager can make the most hectic and complex technical rehearsal a thing of joy and beauty to watch.

Stage Management students have the opportunity to work in many different capacities on productions in their first years in order to broaden their technical knowledge and basis of understanding.  The successful student will participate in the production process as both Assistant Stage Manager and Stage Manager on a wide variety of  performances. Cornish produces work in several theatres, each with unique architecture and modes of operation that contribute to the growth of an agile and well rounded theatre practitioner.

Technical Direction

Turning the ideas of the Scenic Designer and the rest of the production team into scenery that safely supports the performers is the role of the Technical Director. Starting with the Scenic Designer’s drafting, the TD determines the construction methods, plans and overall schedule to move the show through the scene shop in time for load in and technical rehearsals in the theatre. Technical Directors collaborate with scenic painters, props artisans and work with carpenters every day to realize the collaborative team’s world.

While Technical Direction students may work in several different capacities on productions in their first year, their experience will be increasingly focused on the work of the Technical Director as they progress, so that the successful student will be working as primary Technical Director on fully realized productions in their final years.

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