Design and Entertainment Technology

Design and Entertainment Technology Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Theater: Design and Entertainment Technology Concentration

Design and Entertainment Technology

Anyone can watch the show, but it takes a special player to make the show happen.

PennWest California at Pennsylvania takes pride in its thriving arts community, anchored by its theater program's long and rich tradition of performances. For undergraduate theater majors eager to gain hands-on experience in all aspects of creation, PennWest California offers a bachelor's degree concentration in design and entertainment technology that explores both design and the technology involved in creation. Students develop a firm foundation in traditional methods while exploring new technology used throughout the entertainment industry.

Be a star behind the scenes.

  • Learn about theater design from professors with a long history in production and design.
  • Gain hands-on experience in all aspects of production, from design to behind-the-scenes artistry, from planning to execution .
  • Explore the latest technology used in the entertainment industry, and put that knowledge to the test during rehearsals and live performances.


Personalized Attention: PennWest California's low student-to-professor ratio makes learning a personal experience between a mentor and mentee. Faculty members tailor practicum experiences to each student's needs.

A Balance of Theory and Practice: Degree seekers in theater receive a top classroom education and practice those skills in performance and internship situations.

Learn more about applying

Average annual income made by experienced set designers. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
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PennWest California is one of only 178 colleges accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre
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Degree Benefits

Theater arts students working toward a bachelor's degree with a minor in theater design and technology will:

  • Receive hands-on experience creating sets, operating lights and fashioning costumes for live performances.
  • Learn about the latest entertainment technology and how it is used across traditional and new media.
  • Involve themselves in the planning, research, design and construction elements of theater, learning management skills along the way.
  • Ensure entry into the job market through the honing of portfolio, website and interview skills in  presentations and workshops. 
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Graduate Outcomes


While some jobs in the entertainment sector are projected to show slow growth, the field of entertainment technology is expected to show a steady rise as television and electronic media continue to create a demand. Degree recipients with experience in both traditional theater design and entertainment technology will be best equipped to obtain the many lucrative jobs that do exist within this spectrum, including a career in teaching their craft. Selected alumni job titles include:

  • Assistant wardrobe supervisor for Jersey Boys, the Musical on Broadway.
  • Director/manager of the Alban Arts Center, West Virginia.
Design and Entertainment Technology Concentration
PennWest California faculty member helps with a theatre production.

Experienced, Passionate Faculty

Along with their formal educations, PennWest California's theater professors understand the ins and outs of theater because they are experienced artisans themselves. They've guided many young theater majors to promising careers.

A Theatre production on PennWest California's mainstage.

A Thriving Arts Community

Along with the program's vibrant production season, PennWest California Theater explores collaboration through social activities and community outreach.  Academically successful students may be granted membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary theater fraternity. Outstanding student leaders may be elected to the University Players' Hall of Fame, a tradition since 1938.

PennWest California student helps paint a scene for the Theatre Department.

Hands-on Exerpience

Design and entertainment technology students have access to PennWest California's performance spaces, design labs, scene and costume shops. Students also may interview for technical positions on our production teams each semester.

Design and Entertainment Technology Courses

Along with the highlighted features of the design and entertainment technology concentration, faculty members tailor practicums to suit a student's individual interests and skills.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics or Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
HSC 315  First Aid and Personal Safety (recommended)  OR  any course on menu
Technological Literacy
GET 130  Introduction to Engineering  OR  DMT  180  Foundations of Digital Media
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
ART 110  Drawing I (recommended)  OR  any course on menu
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • THE 140  Script Analysis (recommended)  OR  any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • General Education Options Courses (three courses)
Required Theatre Core Courses 27
DAN 131  Foundations of Dance 3
THE 131  Fundamentals of Acting 3
THE 141  Stagecraft I 3
THE 150  Introduction to Theatrical Design 3
THE 302  History of Theatre I 3
THE 304  World Drama  OR  ENG 425  Shakespeare Theatre  OR  THE 306  Modern Drama   3
THE 312  History of Theatre II 3
THE 320  Fundamentals of Directing 3
THE 450  Senior Thesis 3
Required Design/Tech Core 9
THE 143  Drafting and Rendering for the Theatre 3
THE 340  Advanced Theatrical Design 3
THE 354  Theatre Practicum: Management  AND/OR  THE 355  Theatre Practicum: Technical Direction (1 credit each) 3
Theatre Electives 
Select at least two of the following:
  • THE 120  Entertainment Audio I 
  • THE 126  Makeup I 
  • THE 220  Entertainment Audio II 
  • THE 211  Lighting Technology
  • THE 225  Costume Construction 
  • THE 226  Makeup II 
  • THE 255  Puppetry
  • THE 271  Scene Design I 
  • THE 272  Properties Design for Theatre 
  • THE 311  Lighting Design 
  • THE 325  Costume Design 
  • THE 327  Stage Management 
  • THE 328  Scene Painting 
  • THE 341  Stagecraft II 
  • THE 480  Digital Performance
Additional Electives/Minor 38
THE 356  Practicum: Tech Production (recommended) 0 to 6
ART 212  Art History I (recommended) 0 or 3
ART 214  Art History II (recommended) 0 or 3
Student-Selected Electives/Minor Courses 26 to 38
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): Any 3-credit Special Experience Course
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): THE 312 Theatre History II AND Select from: THE 304, THE 306 OR ENG 425
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

Program Notes: Minimum GPA 2.0; Minimum credits 120. At least 42 credits (14 courses) must be advanced courses.

Theater - Concentration and Minors

  • Theater (General)
    PennWest California offers a bachelor's degree in theater, with students selecting a well-balanced mix of performance, technical theater/design and history/literature.
  • Musical Theater
    PennWest California offers a prescribed concentration in musical theater for undergraduate students with a distinct passion for acting, singing and dancing.
Undergraduate Minors
  • General Theater Minor
  • Theater History Minor
  • Musical Theater Minor
  • Dance Minor
  • Technical Theater Minor
  • Acting Minor

Additional Resources

What Can You Do With A Design and Entertainment Technology Degree