Semester of Graduation

May 2022


Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



The role of a scenic designer is so exciting but opportunities to design can fluctuate a bit. While the work is rewarding, the career itself can be much like a gig at times. Then when you factor in a major event such as a global pandemic, where does this leave a scenic designer in terms of employment and livelihood? Are there other possibilities for work with a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design? How do we continue to tell stories while providing for ourselves? Have artists considered how these skills are transferrable to other allied fields?

As a scenic design graduate student, I’m approaching graduation during a pandemic. These are some of the many critical questions that come to mind as I prepare to enter the workforce. It encouraged me to question if new coursework could be offered to explore job opportunities and training beyond the stage. Because if nothing else, the pandemic has taught us to adapt and evolve so that we can continue to thrive. Perhaps Scenic Design course offerings could evolve to encompass targeted training where designers unpack their toolboxes and explore the application of skills beyond the theater. Diversifying the scenic design curriculum to incorporate training in allied design areas would expand who we tell stories to. It would also serve a higher purpose in that it would broaden scenic designers range of viable job opportunities.

Committee Chair

Murphy, James