Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance Department of TheatreCollege of Liberal Arts

Sound for the Performing Arts poster

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre - Sound for the Performing Arts

 sound for the performing arts poster

Recording Studio

The Sound for the Performing Arts Program at Purdue University seeks to expand the young sound designer/technician/engineer’s range of knowledge and expression through broad-based exposure to various careers related to sound for the performing arts. Sound designers enter this field with either a strong technical/engineering aptitude/background or extraordinary musical talent in composition and/or performance. Ideal candidates demonstrate strong aptitude in both.

Students receive a solid foundation in all aspects of sound as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Working individually and as part of many different types of teams, students learn to collaborate towards the realization of diverse auditory projects in the performing arts.

The program allows students to focus efforts more towards technology, artistry or both. The major consists of core classes, specialized training and related electives. Upon completion, students may choose to enter sound related fields or pursue further graduate study towards careers in the entertainment industry.

Audio Production Studio

A newly upgraded audio production studio complements two theatres in Purdue’s Visual and Performing Arts
building, which  opened in 2005. The audio production studio is a fully equipped digital
recording studio featuring over 400 square feet of recording space with additional
isolation booths, and a similarly sized control room, storage and an adjacent sound
shop. The Nancy T. Hansen Theatre, based around a 24 channel surround sound
system is a proscenium house seating 300 people, while the Gordon Mallett Studio
Theatre, based around a 16 channel surround sound system, features a flexible
configuration and seats 105-155 people. These theatres complement additional,
larger campus venues in which sound students can gain additional experience in sound
for the performing arts. JaffeHolden designed the acoustics and
Auerbach•Polach•Friedlander designed the electronics for all of the sound facilities
which feature a high degree of integration and cross-venue compatibility.

The study of sound for the performing arts includes both the classroom study and practical
application of those studies. Therefore, the student is encouraged and expected to be
an active member of our production community. In this laboratory setting, the student
not only applies information and ideas learned in classes, but also learns the critical
life lessons of responsibility, commitment, and cooperation, which are crucial skills
needed for survival in the 21st century.


• Sound Designers, technicians and production staff for live theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance, concerts, event sound, touring and corporate shows.

• Sound Designer for film, television, radio, marketing, advertising and corporate audio production and operations.

• Audio Consultant

• Graduate school

• Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to the auditory arts
   but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set.

Sound for the Performing Arts Degree Requirements

For more information contact:

Richard K. Thomas
Professor of Theatre, Sound Design
Head of Design & Technology
Purdue Theatre
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts
552 W. Wood Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2002

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