Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Eric Stone


We are currently living in a society in which interactivity is at an all-time low. People are glued to their cell phones, tablets and computers, preferring to communicate with pixels and images than other human beings. It often leads to one feeling alone, even amongst a sea of people. This is also true outside of interpersonal relationships.

There is a growing lack of engagement in narrative and the design of that narrative. We see Rocky: The Musical, Amelie: The Musical and Shrek: The Musical. There are playwrights re-hashing the living room drama over and over again, afraid to venture into new material, becoming obsessed with perfecting an unattainable formula. In a constant cycle of re-hashing previously successful franchises and tropes into different mediums, designers lose the opportunity to grow.

However, with the rise of smash hits like Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Then She Fell, designers find a place to dazzle spectators with raw, enthralling artwork that creates a sense new audiences are missing more than anything: Wonder.

To continue the creation of relevant, diverse and genre-defying theatre, designers must be trained to hold authority over the elements of design. These include the concepts of line, shape, color, texture and scale. A designer must know when to trust their instincts and when to rely on time-proven techniques. A designer cannot be afraid of building something new. In addition to this, a growing emphasis is being placed on a designer’s mastery of multiple disciplines. By having a more-well rounded education, a designer is more of an asset on the team.


design, lighting, performance, scenery


29 pages


Copyright © 2017 Alexandra Rose Casillas