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Education: MFA in Video & Media Design at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

Education: MFA in Video & Media Design at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

Mac Wellman’s ANTIGONE, Directed by Caleb Hammond (Directing MFA ’14), Media design by Bryce Cutler( BFA ’13), photo by Louis Stein

Apply to The School of Drama Graduate Video & Media Design MFA 

Questions about the program, contact professor Larry Shea
Associate Professor, Video & Media Design
School of Drama
Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
412-268-7220
lshea@cmu.edu

The School of Drama Graduate Video & Media Design Option is a conceptually rigorous, hands-on and innovative three–year program, which teaches advanced technical skills in a critical context.

This program is designed for forward thinking and fearless artists working at the forefront of media technology and the Arts. Course work is focused on experimentation and collaboration. Classes like Advanced Digital Image and Expanded Theater explore state of the art image creation and display technologies, while Future Stages (the flagship collaborative class), is where Graduate students from all the Design, Directing and Dramatic Writing programs work with the Senior Actors to devise new works exploring the rich potential of technologically savvy performance.

Video & Media Design graduate students are encouraged to think critically about media technologies, their impact on individuals, relationships and society and to explore these issues in the form and content of their work. The program also leverages CMU’s advanced curricula in a variety of disciplines across the university to provide Graduates with an in-depth yet flexible course of study. Cross-departmental projects with the Schools of Art, Architecture, Music, Human Computer Interaction and others are enthusiastically supported. Indeed, the ability to tailor your course of study toward your interests and career goals is a key asset to this program.

Finally Graduate Video & Media Design students participate fully in the ambitious School of Drama production schedule across 3 theaters. All CMU productions are student designed and produced, with close faculty support. Graduate students are involved in at least one production per semester, which range from one-act plays to full-scale main-stage productions and “devised” or experimental works.

Facilities, Equipment and Software available for Media Design students:

  • “Studio 201,” a 15,000 sq ft, flexible media lab, housing large (12’ x 7’) wheeling rear-screen units, moving walls (8 ‘x 8’) lighting, sound and video projection equipment.
  • A wide variety of video projectors from tiny picos to Panasonic professional units (4- 10 K)
  • Multiple up to date Mac towers for production and class work.
  • In addition to the extensive CMU computing services facilities, the Media Design Option has in-house: Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, Max/MSP/Jitter, Isadora, q-lab, Arduino.

Mac Wellman’s ANTIGONE, Directed by Caleb Hammond (Directing MFA ’14), Media design by Bryce Cutler( BFA ’13), photo by Louis Stein

The School of Drama Video & Media Design Option is an intensive three-year course of study providing a solid theoretical grounding in the history and contemporary issues surrounding media technologies and extensive practical experience through class-work and productions.

All students design a thesis production, which is fully mounted and technically supported as part of the School of Drama season.

Graduates have a wide range of skills and the proven ability to work across many performance and entertainment disciplines, including theater, film, television, dance, opera and events.

The curriculum is designed to allow time for students to take advantage of the wide variety of resources at Carnegie Mellon University for in-depth study. From animation to robotics, 3D image capture to creative coding, students work with Faculty advisers to create their ideal curriculum.

A growing focus is on creative coding, and there is an active College of Fine Arts Interdisciplinary course schedule, including “Computing for Live Performance with Max/MSP/Jitter”, “Interactive Art and Computational Design (openFrameworks, Arduino)”, and “Computing for the Arts with Processing,” which leverage CMU’s unique technical expertise for artistic creation.

Graduate Video & Media Design students are encouraged to take advantage of the diverse range of expertise in the Carnegie Mellon University community to create a course of study and production experiences that suit their interests and goals.

Through professional internships with local and national theater and media production companies, students gain valuable experience in real world situations.

School of Drama alumni and visiting artists share their expertise with students through project work, visiting lectures, workshops and professional development seminars. As students ready themselves for graduation, alumni introduce them to the profession during Showcases in New York City and Los Angeles.

In addition all Video & Media Design students have the opportunities to participate in the following:

DANCE/LIGHT
Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.

PLAYGROUND
A Festival of Independent Student Work: Playground is the annual School of Drama three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.

VISITING ARTISTS PROGRAM
The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests on to campus to work with students across all disciplines.

SHOWCASE
The School of Drama Showcase presentations in Pittsburgh, New York, and Los Angeles are designed to give all graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals.

Apply to The School of Drama Graduate Video & Media Design MFA 

Questions about the program, contact professor Larry Shea
Associate Professor, Video & Media Design
School of Drama
Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
412-268-7220
lshea@cmu.edu

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.

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