"Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It's the aim of art to give it some." - Jean Anouilh
Courses in scenic design include Introduction to Theatrical Design and Fundamentals of Scenic Design. Other skills classes are taught on an "as needed" basis. Some recent courses aimed at the scenic design student have included Rendering Techniques, Design Drafting (Hand drafting), AutoCad Drafting, and Advanced Scenic Design. Students with an interest in scenic design are also encouraged to work one-on-one with the faculty scenic designer to develop independent-study classes that directly relate to their individual goals.
Students wishing to concentrate in scenic design have the opportunity to see their work produced onstage, as well as exploring design concepts and techniques in the classroom. The Purple Masque Theatre provides a venue for designers to work with other student directors and designers as part of a production team, either as scenic designer, or as an assistant to a more advanced design student. Students who have shown dedication to their craft and excellence in Masque designs may be assigned a main stage production in their senior year.
There is a scene painting course offered on a regular basis to students with an interest in scenic art; an advanced independent scene painting course is also available for further study in this area. In addition, there is one (paid) position in the scene shop for an assistant scenic artist, with an option of taking on the position of charge scenic artist for specific productions as the skill level increases. Other opportunities exist for assisting Purple Masque designers in painting those productions.
Over the past several years, guest scenic artists have been brought in to work on specific productions, giving students the opportunity to work with professionals in the industry.
Since practical production experience is important to understanding the designer's role, all scenic design and scenic art students are encouraged to work on KSU theatre productions, either in the scene shop, as stage crew, or as design assistants. Students are also encouraged to pursue summer stock work.
Recent alums in Scenic Design have gone on to work with a variety of theatres and companies around the country, including PCPA/Theatrefest, Santa Fe Opera, The Black Hills Playhouse, Mattel, and Disney, and been accepted into graduate programs at Southern Methodist University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.