Performance Production

The Performance Production Department prepares Designers (Costume, Lighting, Scenic, and Sound) Stage Managers, and Technical Directors for a vibrant career.


BFA in Performance Production

What Will You Learn as A Performance Production Major at Cornish?

Our department offers skill-building instruction and hands-on experiential learning through participation in fully realized productions.

Our faculty, all highly accomplished professionals in their respective disciplines, mentor each student throughout the student’s time. By sharing knowledge and experience from their own careers, faculty mentors help students explore career paths, set goals, develop contacts, and identify resources.

Learn more about our BFA degree requirements and review our model programs/advising worksheets below in Explore Your Major.

My education at Cornish gave me a wide range of experience that has proved invaluable in the professional theatre world … all the work I’ve gotten since graduating has been thanks to connections made while attending Cornish.Shelby Choo (PP ’16)


Explore Performance Production Concentrations


And, most importantly, I found my passion. I found the one thing in this world I was meant to do. The thing that energizes me, that forces me to keep a notebook next to my bed so I can write down the ideas that come all night instead of sleep.Kendra Lee (PP ’15), 2015 Commencement speaker

Student Work

Performance Production department



Watching us all grow and see the people we’ve become since that first day, I cannot feel more enthusiasm or pride in the whole of my body to see what we do in the world.Gabrielle Ray Strong (PP ’13)

Performance Production Faculty + Staff

Performance Production

Denise Martel (preferred name, Geeg)

Department Chair
Performance Production

Melanie Burgess

Associate Professor of Costume Design
Performance Production

Matthew Smucker

Associate Professor of Scenic Design
Performance Production

Bret Torbeck

Assistant Professor of Stage Management
Performance Production

Jessica Christensen

Instructor of Scenic Painting | Paint & Stage Properties Supervisor
Performance Production

Tom Fallat

Instructor, Sound Design
Theater | Performance Production

Christopher Goodson

Instructor, Theater History
Performance Production
Cornish Staff or Faculty member

Peter Maradudin

Instructor of Lighting Design
Performance Production

Carl Bronsdon

Costume Shop Supervisor
Performance Production

Eric Koch

Assistant Professor of Technical Direction
Performance Production

Matthew McCarren

Scene Shop Supervisor

Faculty Emeriti | Performance Production
Karen Gjelsteen, Professor Emerita | 1980 – 2013
John Kendall Wilson, Professor Emeritus, Performance Production | 1989 – 2019

Recent Cornish News & Blog Posts

A profile photo of a man.

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A Look Back at ‘Living in the Hyphen:’ Cornish Theater Department Chair Richard E.T. White Retires

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Front Page

Original Works Alum Andrew Lee Creech's Play 'Last Drive to Dodge' Featured in Upcoming Festival

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Front Page

Michigan Opera Theatre Spotlights Cornish Dance Instructor Tinka Gutrick Dailey

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Turn Raw Creativity into Real Power
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