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 Costume Design and Costume Technology Area 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, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Geffen Playhouse, Boston Court Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland Playhouse, A Noise Within, Falcon Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival among others. Denitsa’s opera design and assistant design credits are at Los Angele Opera, San Diego Opera and Santa Fe Opera. Costume design and stylist credits for other media include: music videos, short and full-length films.

Denitsa joined the faculty at SDSU’s School of Theatre, TV, and Film in 2008. She teaches courses in Costume Design, Theatre Rendering, Collaborative Studies, co-teaches Period Dress and Décor and some of the costume technology courses offered at the school.

Denitsa’s academic background includes a B.F.A. in Fashion Design at the Parsons School of Design in Paris and NYC and M.F.A. in Theatre from Brandeis University. Denitsa has received Ovation Award nominations for Best Costume Design by LA Stage Alliance and also Henry Award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design by Colorado Theatre Guild. Other honors 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.

Denitsa Bliznakova’s design work may be viewed at

Costume Design
Head of Costume Design and Costume Technology Area
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.

Phone: 760-613-5541

Anne E. 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, and 3D Printing Basics for Entertainment Design.

Ann McMills' work may be viewed at

Office: DA 215

Charles Murdock Lucas

Charles Murdock Lucas

Charles Murdock Lucas, (MFA University of North Carolina School of the Arts) is a professional scene designer and media designer for theatre and opera whose work has been seen across the United States at places such as: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Barter Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, freeFall Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Flux Theatre Ensemble (NYC), Virginia Stage Company, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Eastman Opera Theatre, PCPA, Cygnet Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre and more. He has also served as the Resident Scene Designer for the Duke City Repertory Theatre, the Ohio Light Opera, Texas Shakespeare Festival, and Luna Stage.

His work as a theatrical designer and artist has been exhibited at: the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, the National Opera Center in New York City, Mozawa’s Y PORTRAITS: AWAKENING in Chicago, Drumthwacket (the official residence of the Governor of New Jersey), the DELURK Gallery, the National Design Portfolio Review in New York City, and the Michael Merritt Design Showcase at the Goodman Theatre. Selected images of his designs for The Whipping Man, The Tempest, Trifles, and Krapp’s Last Tape are published as illustrations for Scene Design and Stage Lighting 10th Edition by R. Craig Wolf and Dick Block.

As an assistant designer, he has worked on productions for New York City Center, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Goodspeed Musicals, and others.

Awards and honors received include: the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase sponsored by OPERA America for production concepts for The Cradle Will Rock, the USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand, the A.J. Fletcher Opera Fellowship in Scene Design, and the USITT Young Designers Forum. He was also nominated for the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards for Theatrical Excellence for Outstanding Scene Design in 2017. Murdock is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 New York, Scenic Design Category.

Assistant Professor
Scene Design
School of Theatre, Television, and Film
Office: DA 209

For further information, visit

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.

Office: DA 210

Jay Sheehan

Jay Sheehan

Faculty-Production Manager, Outside Events Coordinator

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 all main stage and student productions. When he isn’t teaching, Jay also serves as the Logistics Coordinator for the Presidents campus wide Arts Alive SDSU initiative, promoting the visual and performing arts on campus.

A published author, Jay has written the first book on production management in the USA. Along with Co-author, Cary Gillett, the two celebrated the release of The Production Managers Toolkit, on Routledge Press in September of 2016.

Jay also 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, 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. 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 client list includes the NFL Super Bowls in Houston and Minneapolis, Major League Baseballs All Star Game and many non-profit charity concert events in and around the United States.

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

Brian McVicker

Brian serves as the faculty Technical Director for the School of Theatre, Television, and Film. Brian joined SDSU in 2015 after moving to San Diego from Washington, D.C.

While in D.C. Brian served as Assistant Technical Director for Arena Stage. At Arena Brian worked on all manner of productions from dramas to musicals & dance. He helped produce several world premieres including The Velocity of Autumn (which continued onto Broadway), The Shoplifters, and The Originalist. Prior to Arena, Brian was the Associate Technical Director for Woolly Mammoth Theatre. While there he was involved in the production of the world premieres of Civilization (All You Can Eat), Mr. Burns: a post-electric play, You for Me for You, and Stupid F@$#ing Bird. Brian also served as Assistant Technical Director and Master Carpenter for the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Brian received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Technical Production from Boston University. While in Boston, Brian served as Technical Director for companies such as Actor’s Shakespeare Project and Boston Midsummer Opera. Brian also worked as Assistant Technical Director for Opera Boston’s world premiere of Madam Whitesnake. In 2010 he took this production to Beijing, China to be part of the Beijing Music Festival.

Brian has been an active member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology since 2004. He serves on several committees including the Fundamentals committee and the Portfolio committee; both of these are geared towards helping young theatre technicians develop the skills needed to seek professional employment. He spoke at the 2016 annual conference on the subject of managing across disciplines. During the summer Brian continues his professional career at the Old Globe Theatre, here in San Diego, as Assistant Technical Director.

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.

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

Kristen E. Flores

Kristen has worked in theater since age 16, in the greater San Diego area. She has worked in many different aspects of theatre as a freelancer; Painting/ Lighting/Set Design just to name a few. She was the Scenic Charge Artist for the San Diego Rep. Theatre for 10 years. She also started her business K. Flores Designs and Paint in 2011. She received The Caral Corolla Fellowship for Emerging Artists for Scenic Charge Artists in 2008. She is was The Stage and Prop Master for The White Theater at The Old Globe 2013- 2016. She is currently The Prop Master and Scenic Charge Artist at San Diego State University.

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

Lighting, Sound, and Projections Shop Supervisor

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