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Department of Theatre and Dance

  • dramatic lighting

MFA in Lighting Design

Lighting Design is an expressive act, a craft and an ever-changing technology. We intend to broaden student competences and experiences down the multiple avenues that spring from the convergence of art, commerce and technology. This MFA is an intensive three-year program of study designed to provide professional-grade training in the art of stage lighting.

Training stage lighting designers for the twenty-first century must include a commitment to artistic discovery, innovation, mastery of both traditional craft and evolving technologies, practical commercial application of creativity, and an emphasis on the relationship between art and society. Formal study must encourage and give shape to creative expression combined with critical thinking, rigorous investigation and historical perspective as common threads. Students normally leave the program with at least three fully realized design projects.

Industry-Leading Faculty

Professor Jim Hunter’s scene and lighting designs have set the stage at theatres including the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Theatre Virginia, Phoenix Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, Charlotte Repertory Theatre, Florida Stage, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Playhouse on the Square, Drury Lane Theatre, Heritage Repertory Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, VeggieTales Live National Tour, Florida Studio Theatre, World Stage Exposition in Toronto and many others. Jim is a member of the national designers union, United Scenic Artist, Local 829 in both scene and lighting design. Visit his online portfolio.


In the third year, students complete an internship in a professional theatre or assisting a professional lighting designer that each student finds with the guidance of their faculty mentor. Internships vary in length. Students continue to receive their university assistantship financial support during the internship.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.