Theater Needs Tomorrow’s Technicians Today

Warren Djerf (Wenger Blog)

A fair amount has changed in terms of theater production and technology since Jack Miller, Director of Stage Automation for the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), started in theatre education at the school almost 30 years ago. Yet the need for well-trained, passionate and hard-working technicians has remained the same. Bringing UNCSA renowned training and acknowledging the need to address the demand for automation techncians, Miller launched the school’s three-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program in stage automation in 2001. “During the 1990s, more and more automation advancements were happening on Broadway and in rock ‘n’ roll tours,” recalls Miller, “and while automation was taught as part of UNCSA’s technical direction program, we felt the subject justified its own MFA.”

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