Scenography at KU

The term “Scenography” includes all of the elements that contribute to establishing an atmosphere and mood for a theatrical presentation: lighting, sound, set and costume design.

Model of She Kills Monsters set by Kate SmeltzerThe M.F.A. Scenography program at KU is based on the premise that theatrical designers in the 21st century must be conversant with all areas of theatre design. The aim is to find the areas of commonality and intersection among the separate disciplines. Students master a larger palette of contemporary design possibilities based on the unique seeing process of the age. Through a series of carefully structured projects, both in the classroom and on the stage, the program provides students the opportunity to develop the critical and artistic skills that will allow them to create design ideas that go beyond the literal surface of the play into spatial and visual arrangements that are dynamic, resonant, and poetic.

The B.F.A. in Theatre Design is intended as general preparation for the professional designer of scenery, costumes, sound, and lighting or as preparation for further graduate study. Students learn through small-class studio courses, laboratories, and involvement in productions with the University Theatre and University Dance Company. 

Many of our students have presented their design work from University Theatre productions and classroom projects at the annual KCACTF Region V festival. This year three students earned national first-place awards, but were unable to complete due to the cancellation of the national festival. Last year three students also earned national first-place awards and the opportunity to present and compete at the national festival in Washington, D.C. In 2018, nine students were honored for their work.

Scenography Faculty

Dennis Christilles portrait
Associate Professor, Head of Scenography Program
Murphy Hall, Room 227

Ph.D., University of Kansas
Scenography and Greek Theatre

Rana Esfandiary headshot
Assistant Professor
Murphy Hall, Room 300

B.A. in Playwriting, Theatre, University of Tehran, 2005; M.F.A. in Scenography, University of Kansas, 2013; Ph.D. in Theatre, University of Kansas, 2018
Design & Technology

Mark Reaney headshot
Murphy Hall, Room 233

M.F.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Scenography, Technology, Computers

Kelly Vogel portrait
Resident Artist, Academic Associate
Murphy Hall, Room 223

M.F.A., Scenography, University of Kansas

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