Theatre: Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technical Theatre

The Good Person of Szechwan Zombie Prom Inside the Costume Shop Desire Under the Elms The Good Person of Szechwan Set Design Jean Isaacs' San Diego Dance Theatre Birds of Paradise Inside the Costume Shop Chorus Line from The Musical of Musicals (the musical!) A Mark Twain Centenary Tribute Scene Painting for The Vagina Monologues The Good Person of Szechwan Eurydice Making Hats In Costuming Paradise Hotel Paradise Hotel Costume Design Little Women

Faculty & Staff

The Faculty

The faculty for the MFA in Design and Technical Theatre consists of 6 individuals, all of whom have achieved excellence in the areas of academic theatre and professional theatre design. Most continue to design at the regional and national levels. Please click on their names below for more information.

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Denitsa Bliznakova

Denitsa Bliznakova

Denitsa Bliznakova leads the Design and Technology Program in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University. She is a professional costume designer whose work has been seen nation-wide at venues such as: Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Opera, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Geffen Playhouse, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland Playhouse, A Noise Within, Falcon Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others.

Costume design and stylist credits for other media include various music videos, short and full-length films. As an assistant designer, Denitsa has worked at the Santa Fe Opera, Long Wharf Theatre, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She also has either supervised or consulted on productions at the San Diego Opera, Quixote Studios, and the Soul Dance, Fusion of Space and Mind production at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

Denitsa’s academic background includes a B.F.A. in Fashion Design at the Parson’s School of Design in Paris and NYC and M.F.A. in Theatre from Brandeis University. Awards and honors nominated and received include: Ruth Morley Costume Design award, USITT Young Designers Forum presenter, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences competition finalist, and two Golden Thimble Awards and Designer of the year nomination at Parsons School of Design. Denitsa is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829 Union, United States Institute for Theatre Technology and Costume Society of America.

Costume Design
Head of Design and Technology
School of Theatre, Television, and Film
Office: DA 214
(619) 594- 5898

Ralph Funicello

Ralph Funicello

The design program is fortunate to have this nationally renowned scenic designer as part of its faculty. He holds the Don Powell Endowed Chair in Scene Design. He has designed the scenery for over 300 productions of plays and operas throughout the world including the Broadway productions of Julius Caesar, Brooklyn Boy, Henry IV (Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Award nominations), King Lear, QED, and Division Street, Off-Broadway productions including Saturn Returns, Ten Unknowns (Lortel Nomination), Prides Crossing, and Labor Day, New York City Opera's La Rondine, San Diego Opera's Don Quichotte, and LA Opera's acclaimed productions of The Dwarf and The Broken Jug. He is an Associate Artist at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and has designed for the Mark Taper Forum, the South Coast Rep, the Seattle Rep, the Lincoln Center Theatre, the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Denver Center Theatre Company, The Huntington Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., the Stratford Festival of Canada, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the American Conservatory Theatre where he was Director of Design. Ralph's designs have been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Each semester he teaches the undergraduate set design courses and is part of teaching faculty of the M.F.A. core design/studio course: Collaborative Studies. In addition, he spends a great deal of time in individual tutorials with the M.F.A. design students and is the faculty advisor on set design for the Theatre Department productions.

Office: COM 112C
Phone: 594-6803

David Morong

David Morong

David is an instrumental part of Theatre's link to Television and Film. He began his career at a fledgling network called MTV on something called cable and ended up being the resident Production Designer, designing scores of shows over 15 years. His cable connections led to Production Design work for VH1, HBO, Comedy Channel, TNN, and Fox. He has worked as an Art Director on the HBO series "Carnivale", where he received an Emmy nomination, as well as "Big Love". He has also designed and Art Directed a number of feature films, including "King of California". Recent credits include Art Direction for several episodes of "Mad Men" over the last four seasons, and the live production of "Cirque Berzerk" in Los Angeles. In the Fall of 2006 he joined the faculty of the School of Theatre, Television and Film at SDSU where he teaches courses in Art Direction as well as Period Dress and Decor with Professor Bliznakova. David is also a Lecturer at the American Film Institute, teaching design software.

Office: COM 112A
Phone: 594-8654

Loren Schreiber

Loren Schreiber

Loren joined the faculty in 1994, after more than 10 years as Technical Director for The Old Globe Theatre. Highlights of his career in regional theatre include the original technical direction for Sondheim's "Into the Woods," Neil Simon's "Rumors" and "Jake's Women," the 1993 revival of "Damn Yankees," the off-Broadway production of A. R. Gurney's "The Cocktail Hour," and the national touring show of James Lapine's "Falsettos." He also served as the technical liaison for the Maly Drama Theatre of Leningrad and the Tbilisi State Puppet Theatre of Soviet Georgia during the San Diego International Arts Festival and the technical liaison for the Maxim Gorky Theatre of Vladivostok for their production of Chekhov's "Ivanov" at San Diego State University.

Loren's area of special interest and research is stage automation. He directs the San Diego Theatre Arts Research Laboratory (STAR Lab), a facility dedicated to the development of special effects and specialized machinery for theatre. Recent STAR projects include the scenery automation for the Dallas Opera and San Diego Opera co-production of the Magic Flute, and the San Diego Opera's production of Wozzeck. He has also consulted on automation projects for the La Jolla Playhouse, the South Coast Repertory Theatre, the American Conservatory Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre and other theatres and rigging companies nationwide.

Loren is an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, having served as Vice Commissioner for Scenery Automation and Vice Commissioner for International Projects as part of the Technical Production Commission. He is a member of the USITT Board of Directors and serves as the USITT representative to the PLASA Stage Lift Working Group. He has also won numerous Tech Expo awards and chaired the USITT Tech Expo Committee for several years.

Loren is a founding member of the Long Reach Long Riders, a group of theatre technicians and motorcycle riders who have raised more than $250,000 for ESTA's "Behind the Scenes" and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. When time allows, he enjoys flying experimental and aerobatic airplanes, and working as a guest wrangler on a dude ranch in New Mexico. His education includes a BA in German Literature and an MA in Theatre History and Criticism from Louisiana State University, and an MFA in Scenery Design from San Diego State University.

For more information you may visit his web site:

Office: DA 203
Phone: 594-7711

Jay Sheehan

Jay Sheehan

A 30 year resident of San Diego, Jay Sheehan oversees the production management and stage management areas for the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University. Additionally, Jay created and leads the Certificate in Entertainment Management Program for the School. As the faculty production manager, Jay oversees all aspects of production for the 8 show main stage and student production season. When he isn’t teaching, Jay also serves as the Logistics Coordinator for the President’s campus wide Arts Alive SDSU initiative, promoting the visual and performing arts on campus.

Jay received an SDSU UGP Grant to produce the high school touring version of Dear Harvey, The Stories of Harvey Milk. In 2009, Jay lead the SDSU Theatre team to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and ultimately took the script to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Jay also produced the show at the California Museum in Sacramento and the New York City Fringe Festival in 2010.

In off campus work, Jay serves as the National Production Manager for Young Arts, dedicated to help identify and support the next generation of artists in the literary, performing, visual and design arts. In this capacity, Jay oversees productions in Miami, Los Angeles, and the Presidential Scholars program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Jay is an Equity stage manager, having spent 8 years at the Old Globe Theatre, and two years as the Production Stage Manager for Forever Plaid at the Theatre in Old Town. Jay’s other jaunts around San Diego have found him as the Director of Production and Operations for the San Diego Symphony and Director of Operations for House of Blues, overseeing the 20,000 seat Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.

Jay is also owner of Cue One Productions and is a freelance special event manager who produces non-profit charity and concert events in and around San Diego.

Faculty-Production Manager
Office: DA 201A
Phone: 594-4990

Craig Wolf (Emeritus)

Craig Wolf

Professor Wolf is currently head of the Design and Technical Production Program and academic program advisor for the MFA design students. Along with staff member Peter Nordyke, Craig teaches the Department's lighting and sound courses. His lighting work has been seen at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, Theatre Artaud and the New Performance Gallery in San Francisco, the Japan America Center and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles, San Diego Rep., and the Old Globe Theatre. Craig's students often work with him as assistant designers on regional theatre productions. He is a United Scenic Artists lighting design member. In addition, Craig is author of the lighting and sound sections of the well-known design text: Scene Design and Stage Lighting. Craig regularly teaches Collaborative Studies along with Professors Bliznakova and Funicello. He has served as a member of U.S.I.T.T.'s Board of Directors and as Lighting Commissioner and was recently named USITT's Distinguished Educator of the Year.

Office: DA 205

Anne McMills

Anne McMills

Anne E. McMills’ lighting career extends across the many facets of the lighting world – from theatre (including Broadway and the West End) to television and theme parks to architecture, industrials, concerts, awards shows, dance, and opera. In addition to designing her own work, Anne has assisted many award-winning Broadway lighting designers such as Ken Billington, Brian MacDevitt, Howell Binkley, Peter Kaczorowski, Jason Lyons, David Lander, and Brian Monahan. Anne is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 and the Head of Lighting Design at San Diego State University. Anne is the author of The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit, published by Focal Press.

Office: DA 210

The Staff

In addition to its faculty, the Theatre Department at San Diego State University is fortunate to have an exceptional staff of theatre professionals. Our staff instructs and guides students in a laboratory setting as they produce our season of fully-mounted shows. It is unusual to find, in a single program, such a huge range of talent and experience assisting and guiding students through their academic careers.

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Peter Herman

Peter is the Costume and Wig Technician. He has had years of experience in various opera and theatre companies as a cutter/draper or wig maker and still continues to do work for many professional theatres and film production companies in both wigs and draping. Recently he has built wigs for The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The San Diego Rep., and The San Diego Opera. He is an active member of I.A.T.S.E. local union #706 of makeup artists and hair stylists, and #905 for theatrical wardrobe. Peter teaches our classes in make up and wig making.

Office: DA 004C
Phone: 594-6316

Jennifer Imbler

Jennifer joined the staff as Scenic Charge Artist and Propmaster at SDSU in 2010. She came to San Diego in 2005 as a scenic artist for La Jolla Playhouse and UCSD. There she worked on student productions as well Broadway bound shows and national tours such as The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations, Cry Baby, Memphis, The 39 Steps, and Xanadu. Before escaping to this little corner of the world, Jenn worked as Assistant Charge Artist at Indiana Repertory Theatre, and Propmaster for The Aspen Music Festival Opera Company. She also interned for two seasons at Cincinnati Opera. Jenn's higher education began at Xavier University in Fine Arts. Eventually, she stumbled into theatre and received a BFA in theatre design and production with an emphasis in set design from the University of Cincinnati: College Conservatory of Music. In addition to her position at SDSU, Jenn works for Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company as well as other theatre production companies and projects.

Teri McConnell Tavares

Teri is the Costume Studio Manager. She brings to the department her ongoing professional experiences as a costume craftsperson, dyer/painter, and costume manufacturer in theatre, opera, television, film, and themed entertainment. She has a M.F.A. degree in costume design and is a member of the Motion Picture Costumers Local #705 and USITT. She further shares her expertise by teaching costume technology courses for the department.

Office DA4C
Phone: 619-594-0183

Peter Nordyke

Peter looks after the lighting and sound production areas of the department. He is an excellent sound and lighting designer and frequently designs professionally. Well- versed in equipment as well as design, he advises lighting and sound designers and teaches in the laboratory as well as the classroom. Peter directs and coordinates the department's full-scale lighting laboratory. He holds an MFA degree in scenic and lighting design.

Office: DA 106A
Phone: 594-6345

Andrew Young


Andrew manages the SDSU Theatre Scene Shop and provides training, assistance, and instruction to students on advanced scenery construction techniques for student productions.

Andrew is a long-time veteran of the entertainment industry with experience in roles from Technical Director to Carpenter and Stagehand working in a variety of industry-related organizations.

With Andrew’s comprehensive production background, he brings a wide scope of knowledge and talents to share with students. Starting his career at the Julliard School, training on Broadway and off-Broadway productions, he has continued to expand his expertise working in film, television, and some of the top theatre, universities, concert, and corporate event production companies across the country. Most recently, he worked at The Old Globe Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, UCSD School of Theatre, and The San Diego Opera. Some notable productions include Moby Dick, Aida, The Pearl Fishers, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Tony Award-winning productions including Seven Guitars, 700 Sundays, Jersey Boys, The Full Monty, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, among others.

Andrew holds a MFA in Technical Production from Boston University and holds a BA in History and Theatre Studies, from Catawba College. He is a Journeyman with the IASTE Local #122 in San Diego, and a current member of USITT.

Scene Shop Foreman
School of Theatre, Television, and Film Office: DA 106
Phone: 594-4603