Lighting Design | Theater | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

stage of RENT

Lighting Design

Photo above: SIU Theater production of Rent, lighting design by Anthony Reed (MFA, Lighting Design 2013), currently Master Electrician at The Julliard School.

Thank you for your interest in our MFA Design and Production (Emphasis Lighting Design) program here at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. The MFA in Design is a three-year sequence that includes courses in all areas of design as well as numerous electives with multiple realized design opportunities.

  • Extensive study in the physics of light, human psychology and physiology as it relates to the "art of seeing" and current industry standards, practices and technology in lighting design
  • Two performance venues well equipped with an inventory in excess of 300 conventional and intelligent fixtures and accessories as well as sophisticated control consoles
  • Professional resident summer company, McLeod Summer Playhouse, offers paid design and production opportunities
  • Recent lighting graduates have worked for: Center Stage, Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, Theater Lawrence, The Glimmerglass Festival, ETC, University of South Carolina, Children's Theater of Omaha, Kansas City Starlight Theater, Vincent Lighting Systems, University of Minnesota Morris, and Northwest Missouri State University
  • Assistantships available covering tuition and offering a monthly stipend

For more information about hte program or to get connected with a current student or alum, contact Mark Varns, Professor of Theater and Resident Lighting Designer at