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


General Facility Information

Don Powell Theatre

The Department of Theatre in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film at San Diego State University offers a B.A. degree, an M.A. degree, and an M.F.A. degree. Normally about 50 graduate students and 250 undergraduates are in residence. The theatre is housed in a single building which contains classrooms, well-equipped workshops for scene and costume construction, rehearsal rooms, and two theatres. The department presents six fully-mounted productions per year in our two theatres — all designed by students. In addition, the theatres are in constant demand by theatre student productions.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Additionally, students have access to garment collections within the School for reference and research. Students may also use the SDSU Love Library holdings for research, as well as tapping into other California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) system library resources through inter-library loan. Love Library maintains important journal and database search subscriptions for its students and faculty to use in research, and there is a TV/Film/Theatre/New Media Librarian on staff to provide research assistance. To see a listing of current database subscriptions that the library has, visit Love Library's Database Articles A-Z list.

For more detailed information, please follow the links above to learn about the Don Powell Theatre, Experimental Theatre, and the workshops available, including the scene shop, costume and make-up shop, lighting lab, and television and film studios.


Don Powell Theatre

The larger of the two theatres seats 500 and is a fairly typical proscenium-type theatre with side-stages and a small apron. It is used in a wide variety of configurations from thrust to having audience seated on the stage. The electrical system is dimmer-per-circuit with state of the art lighting fixtures (including LEDs and moving lights) and control as well as motorized electrics. The stage is fully trapped and is adjacent to a full-stage wagon house. The rigging system is counter-weight with 35 line sets. Sound is controlled by a SFX System.

Don Powell Theatre Don Powell Theatre

Experimental Theatre

This is a theatre which seats 175 in thrust configuration. Lighting is dimmer-per circuit with modern instruments and control.

Experimental Theatre Experimental Theatre

The Workshops


The Scene Shop

The scene shop is located next to the wagon house and the Experimental Theatre. It houses all necessary wood- and metal-working equipment. At the far end of the wagon house is a full-stage (20' X 50') electrically-operated paint frame. The paint area and a ventilated spray booth are adjacent.

scene shop welder

Costume and Make-up

The costume and make-up facilities share the lower level of the building along with a design and construction research library. There is a large costume studio equipped with industrial machinery. The studio has ample room for 2 draper teams and extra work tables. The wig and make up studio contains wig making and styling stations and a wig dryer. There is a crafts studio and a ventilated dye room with commercial dye equipment. The costume department maintains a historical costume collection with over 2,000 garments from 1840's to 1950's and a Contemporary Study Collection featuring garments from the 1960's to the present, including many examples of work by designers such as Chanel and Givenchy.

costume shop costume shop detail shot

Lighting Lab

A dance-floor rehearsal space and a full-scale lighting laboratory complete the lower level of the building. The electrical system is dimmer-per-circuit, and a variety of industry standard instruments are available for student projects and demonstrations.

The Light Lab contains a variety of fixtures from the classic Fresnel and Source 4 junior to moving lights and ETC LED cyc fixtures. The lab is designed for versatility and complete flexibility for student experimentation and self-learning. Lighting grad students have full access to the light lab for class projects, mock-ups, and free-flowing idea development. The lab is controlled by an ETC Element console and has its own dedicated ladders, gel and gobo stock, a white cyc or full traveling black, as well as a small sound system and fog machine.

lighting shot lighting shot

Studios A & C

Additionally, we have television and sound stages. Studio A is a well-equipped, digital, multi-camera television studio with a built in live switcher. Studio C is a well-equipped, 4,000 square foot sound stage, with flexible configurations possible.

television stage television stage