Certificate Programs

While obtaining our AA-T transfer degree in Theater, students may also elect any of our certificate programs for specific areas of emphasis. These certificates illustrate to both 4-year institutions and potential employers a dedication to an area of study that often helps elevate a students’ profile during admission/hiring/selection processes. In addition, our certificates allow our students to gain more focused mentorship in an individual discipline, which can also help lead a student toward one of the many terminal Master’s Degrees in theater across the many reputable post-graduate institutions across the country.

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Technical Theater Certificate

This certificate focuses on learning the practical skills necessary to work “behind the scenes” in a theatrical production or theme park. Students will engage with a wide variety of coursework that includes design theory, stagecraft, set rigging, lighting crew, and backstage crew assignments. Students that obtain our Technical Theater Certificate will be trained in all backstage operations, preparing them to (if they so choose) enter the professional workforce in live theater, television, film, or theme parks in an entry-level crew position. For more information, please examine the Mt. SAC school catalogue link:


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Credit Certificates

Performance Certificate

This certificate focuses on the philosophical and practical aspects of live performance. Students will study voice, movement, script analysis, and various acting disciplines in the classroom - then apply those principles in one or more of our professional-level annual productions.

Playwriting/Dramaturgy Certificate

This certificate focuses on the writing and research skills required to craft and adapt dramatic literature. Students will study script analysis, playwriting, directing, and acting. The classes will culminate with a focus on participating in our Student Shows and New Works Festival in order to  gain the practical experience of hearing their own work out loud, then utilizing criticism to improve final drafts.

Costume/Make-up Design Certificate

This certificate focuses on the craft and application of costume and make-up design. Students will study general principles of design, while also focusing on the construction skill necessary to see a design vision come to fruition on the stage. Students that demonstrate exceptional ability will have the opportunity to assist in designing one or more of our mainstage or studio productions.

Lighting Design Certificate

This certificate focuses on the craft of lighting design through design philosophy, plotting, and hang/rigging training. Students will learn general principles of lighting design, color theory, cue writing and board operation, and hanging/focusing.

Scenic Design Certificate

This certificate focuses on the craft of scenic design through design philosophy, front elevation and scenic model building, as well as CAD and drafting techniques. Students will learn about the practical and aesthetic needs of scenic design, script analysis, and rendering techniques for scenic designers.

Directing Certificate

This certificate focuses on the craft of directing for the stage by not only learning about each discipline in the theater individually, but also the philosophies of leadership and collaboration. Students will sample classes from every part of the program, with a focus on leading a team of artists toward one, cohesive production.

Stage Management Certificate

This certificate focuses on the craft of stage management through theory and participation in live theatrical production. Students will study the philosophy of stage management, all while learning about myriad disciplines in the theater - culminating in the practical application of stage managing (and/or assistant stage managing) one or more of our professional-level productions.

Theater for Young Audiences Certificate

This certificate focuses on a career in arts education. Students will study the composition, design, and practice of utilizing live theater as a teaching school - increasing student engagement and promoting lateral thinking. Students will go on tour with our Children’s Theater class, as well as receive guidance in related educational fields.


Non-credit Professional Certificates

ETCP Certified Rigger - Theater & Test Preparation (Requires 21yrs +)

All experienced riggers 21 years of age and above are invited to take ETCP's rigging certification exams. The intent of the rigging examinations is to evaluate and validate the knowledge and skill base of the upper third of riggers working in the entertainment industry. These positions typically involve the health and safety of technicians, performers and audiences, and require compliance with OSHA and other laws. Those who pass this rigorous test will become ETCP Certified Riggers and will be recognized by other professionals as the industry's best.

The Theatre Certification

Encompasses rigging that employs the use of counterweighted systems, mechanical systems and hydraulic systems, usually, but not always, permanently installed in facilities for the use of theatre technicians in the execution of their rigging responsibilities.

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ETCP Certified Entertainment Electrician

All experienced electricians are invited to take ETCP's entertainment electrician certification exam. The intent of the electrical examination is to evaluate and validate the competency of the upper third of electricians working in the entertainment industry. These positions typically involve liability issues, the health and safety of workers and audiences, and compliance with the electrical and other laws of the local area, including laws requiring performance by Qualified Personnel. Those who pass this rigorous test will become ETCP Certified Entertainment Electricians and will be recognized as the industry's best.

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