Page 1

New York University

Department of Design for Stage and Film 721 Broadway, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6807 Call: 212-998-1950 E-mail: Visit: 2

New York University A private university in the public service

plan a career

If you are planning a career as a designer For theatre, film, opera, dance, and television, the Department of Design for Stage and Film at New York University’s Tisch School of

as a designer

the Arts offers you the opportunity to study and live in the world’s capital of the performing and visual arts: New York City. Located on NYU’s Washington Square campus in Greenwich Village, Tisch offers a program that boasts an outstanding faculty of

for stage

working professionals, close proximity to every type of performing and media art imaginable, and endless opportunities to take full advantage of the cultural resources unique to New York City. Tisch Design students are creative and intellectually curious,

and film

they have the skills to communicate both visually and verbally, they possess a passion for their art, and they have a deep commitment to becoming professional designers.

The Marriage of Figaro

From the chair You are at the beginning of an exciting moment in your life. You have completed (or are about to complete) your undergraduate degree…you have a passion for theatre and/or film…perhaps you have been working in our profession…or perhaps in another field… and you are now looking to the future. What’s next? Is this the time for graduate school? What type of program attracts you? What’s important to you? Location? Opportunities? Faculty? Alumni connections? There are so many questions. We are pleased that you have chosen to consider NYU/Tisch and we will do our best to answer your questions. I encourage you to read the materials here and look at our web site. But don’t stop there. Come see us! We are happy to arrange for you to visit and when possible, will provide an opportunity for you to talk to current students and observe class. Being a designer is akin to being an explorer – we make constant discoveries and enjoy adventures. I promise you plenty of both here at NYU/Tisch.

Susan Hilferty

Journey of the Fifth Horse

The Program Each September we welcome a class of 18 designers of scenery, costumes, lighting and film into our three-year Master of Fine Arts program. Rigorous and demanding, we have high expectations for you, yet you’ll find us supportive and eager to see you succeed. We firmly believe that you are unique and our program aims to protect and nurture the individuality of each designer. Through a series of carefully orchestrated courses, you’ll see yourself develop an individual design process. Studio design classes are the centerpiece of our curriculum. Taught by a faculty of working professionals at the top of the field, you’ll focus on the development of visual solutions based on in-depth text analysis, character study,

Romantic Roulette

As You Like It

Technical Rehearsal , Fifth Floor Theatre

the use of research to explore historical and sociological aspects of


cultures, and the collaborative nature of the theatre. Classes in

Under the strong, innovative leadership of costume and set

diverse and multicultural; at any given time approximately 25% of

techniques such as drawing, drafting, model making, cutting and

designer Susan Hilferty, our faculty of working designers will guide

our students are from outside the United States and many are new

draping, and stagecraft support the work in design class.

you with knowledge gained from firsthand experience. All design

to living in New York City.

Production is a crucial and necessary component of the curriculum,

faculty are members of United Scenic Artists Local 829 or hold

an extension of the classroom where students put into practice the

advanced degrees in design. Their collected professional experience

Production Opportunities

theory they have studied.

includes Broadway and Off-Broadway, work in all of the major

The Department of Design for Stage and Film has a close

regional theatres in America, feature films, opera, ballet and

relationship with Tisch’s acclaimed Graduate Acting Program as

Some of the most exciting work is created when peer directors work

television in the United States and throughout the world. For up-to-

well as with the innovative Department of Dance and the legendary

in class with set, costume and lighting designers. The designer/

date, detailed bios please visit our web site.

Graduate Film Program in the Kanbar Institute of Film and

director relationship is nurtured by the participation of Columbia

Television. Each year, Design students work collaboratively and

University MFA directing students and the Public Theatre directing

With ten full-time faculty members and over a dozen adjunct

creatively on over 35 plays, films, and dance concerts within the

fellows in classes that focus on collaboration. We’ll offer you the

teachers, you will be exposed to a variety of different aesthetics and

Tisch School of the Arts.

opportunity to work together in the classroom with Tisch

processes while maintaining your own individuality as an artist.

filmmakers on joint projects under the tutelage of some of today’s

We are confident that you will be guided by the best designer/

Production experience runs in tandem with design classes and you

top film production designers.

teachers working today, and our faculty is one of the reasons we

will have the opportunity to see your designs realized each of the

have the reputation for being among the finest major training

three years you are in the program. First year production

programs in the world. While we expect and encourage our faculty

experience includes collaborating with student choreographers,

to maintain professional design careers, you will discover that each

dancers, and composers to create fully produced original dance

of them is passionate about teaching and dedicated to working with

pieces as well as assisting advanced students. In the second and

young designers.

third year, students design productions co-produced with the

a faculty of working designers guide students with

Graduate Acting Program. All productions are directed by


professional directors, including such notables as Drew Barr, Susan

Walk into any of our classrooms and you’ll quickly realize that Tisch

Fenichell, Michael Mayer, Niegel Smith, Tazewell Thompson,

design students come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Kenneth Washington, Mark Wing-Davey, and Robert Woodruff.

Applicants from all disciplines of undergraduate study, not just

knowledge gained from firsthand experience

those who have specialized in theatre design, are equally welcomed.


We believe a broad-based undergraduate education is often the best

Our classrooms, light lab, costume shop, computer lab, and the

preparation for a career as a designer. Architecture, history, English

Oliver Smith Library are all housed in a handsome, spacious, light-

literature, sculpture, and psychology are just a few areas of study

filled, block-long design studio at 721 Broadway, for the exclusive

recent students have pursued as undergraduates. Although a small

use of design students. Production facilities include four movable-

number of students come directly from undergraduate study, we

and fixed-seat theatres and professionally staffed scene shops,

firmly believe in the benefits of “time off” before embarking on the

costume shop and electrics shop. A wide range of additional

rigors of graduate school. Most students join our program after

resources and facilities is available to you as a member of the

having worked professionally for some time. Our student body is

greater New York University community.

The Design Show


The annual Design Show is a showcase for graduating students to be

Graduates of the Department of Design are designing everywhere –

introduced to the professional community. Held in May, directors,

on Broadway and off; for feature films in Los Angeles, New York,

designers and producers are invited to view the work and meet with

and many places in between; for dance companies large and small;

the exhibitors with an eye toward future employment as they

in resident theatres all over the country; for national television; in

embark on professional careers. Prospective students are

opera houses around the world; and more and more expanding into

encouraged to visit the annual Design Show to see firsthand the

areas of new media such as virtual set design, projection, video, and

exceptional work that takes place within the department. Design

web site design. A full list of our alumni’s activities is printed in

Meeting, another annual event held in New York, recognizes the

the department’s annual Alumni Report. Please be sure to ask for a

work and achievement of MFA students graduating from the


theatrical design programs at CalArts, Yale School of Drama and NYU/Tisch, and provides an opportunity to forge new creative partnerships, many of which will be lifelong.

Design Show 2011

explore design

New York City New York City, the richest artistic environment in the world, provides the ideal location for you to further your education. Many

in the

of our courses use the city as their laboratory. Museums, galleries, and libraries are used for research; members of the professional design community are frequent guest speakers; and close proximity

world’s center

to theatres, shops, and studios affords the opportunity to visit facilities or to go backstage and observe productions in rehearsal. Last year over 70 guest lecturers visited the department, including playwrights Athol Fugard and Richard Nelson; lighting designers Chris Akerlind and Don Holder; directors Anne Bogart, Karin

of culture

Coonrod, Oskar Eustis, Daniel Fish, Sam Helfrich, David Herskovits, Brian Kulick, and Irene Lewis; film designers Michael Engler, Juliet Polcsa, Mark Ricker and Kristi Zea; set and costume

and creativity

designers Desmond Heeley and David Zinn; projection designers Wendall Harrington and Tal Yarden; and many others.

front cover: Many Colors Make the Thunderking (Graduate Acting Program), costume design, E. Caitlin Ward '98;` inside front cover: set model, The Marriage of Figaro, set designer: Julia Przedmojska '11; page 1 top: costume sketch, 'Mother Courage,' Mother Courage, costume designer: Amanda Shafran '12 bottom: Journey of the Fifth Horse, set designer: Laura Jellinek '09; costume designer: Caitlin O'Connor '09; lighting designer: Mike Inwood '09; page 2 top: set model, As You Like It, set designer: Alexis Distler '08 bottom: costume sketch, 'Katherine,' The Witches of Edmonton, costume designer: Caitlin O'Connor '09; page 3 top left: Romantic Roulette, costume designer: Erin Schultz '11 top right: The Storm, set designer: Brett J. Banakis '10; lighting designer: Eric Southern '10; costume designer: Tilly Grimes '10; page 4: Design Show 2011, photographer: Liz Clayman; inside back cover: costume sketch, Wozzeck, costume designer: Tilly Grimes '10 pocket: conceptual rendering, Lost Horizon, production designer: Alexios Chrysikos '10.


Lost Horizon, conceptual illustration

To Learn More Prospective students are strongly encouraged to visit the Department of Design for Stage and Film. We are happy to arrange for you to sit in on a class, meet with a faculty or staff member, and talk to current students. 212-998-1950

New York University is an afďŹ rmative action/equal opportunity institution. Produced by Advertising and Publications, New York University. 101104

Application online at

Tisch Design Brochure  

Design for Stage and Film, Tisch NYU

Tisch Design Brochure  

Design for Stage and Film, Tisch NYU