BY AMY DAO
FINE ARTS — Cypress College welcomed students back in-person this spring with a new Design Lab in the Fine Arts Building, elevating design and drafting programs in the theater arts department. With the approved CTE Incentive Grant, Technical Theater and Design professor, Donny Jackson, is equipping students with all the right tools for the professional world.
Formerly conducted in a lecture hall, the lab now gives students a more technical, hands-on approach to the design process that wasn’t possible prior.
“I taught lighting but I couldn’t teach the drafting program that went along with it,” Donny said. “We teach people how to build scenery but we couldn’t teach them how to draft it.”
Prior to its opening, laboratories allowed students the chance to see what equipment and tools were inside the theater. Now they are being trained how to create and draft with the most updated industry-level software including: Vectorworks, Lightwright, Stagewrite, Qlab, Millumin, and Watchout.
In conjunction with the Industry-Prep course, the hands-on work, show experience, and added software skills, the new Design Lab will maximize career readiness for students on the two-year track.
Donny said, “It’s broken up so that If you decide not to transfer, you’ll have created something that works and will get you set up in the industry.”