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Friday, April 23, 2021

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A look inside SDSU's costume shop. A look inside SDSU's costume shop.

SDSU Designers Make it Work

SDSU's version of Project Runway, The Jury, showcases students' top-notch work.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University master of fine arts students and theatre undergraduate students will be presenting their hard work to The Jury. 

Described as SDSU's version of the hit TV show Project Runway, The Jury features a panel of experts eager to put design students to the test.

"This is an excellent opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience and receive constructive criticism from highly-respected industry professionals," said D.J. Hopkins, director of SDSU's School of Theatre, Television and Film.

Esteemed panelists include playwrights, makeup artists, directors, set designers and costume designers with years of experience working in Hollywood. 

How it works

The event — now in its 31st year —  is a competition in which three teams of students collaborate on the production and design of a film or theatre presentation. After working together for months, the students share their work with a panel of prestigious theatre and film professionals in front of an audience of other students and members of the community.

The Jury panelists evaluate the students’ work and provide valuable insight, support and criticism.

All three teams begin from the same work of dramatic literature. This year, The Jury will be based on August Strindberg’s incendiary one-act Miss Julie (written in 1888), in a translation by the school’s own internationally-recognized Strindberg specialist, emerita professor Anne-Charlotte “A.C.” Harvey.

Two teams are comprised of students from the theatre program and include a director, designers from the SDSU master of fine arts program in Design and Technology and a small group of actors.

The teams develop a visual approach to the play, which the designers translate into set models, costume renderings and lighting sketches. The team from the film program includes a director, producer, cinematographer and other specialists supported by MFA Design students. This team chooses a scene or an idea from the play and develops it into a fully produced short film.

The Jury

On the day of the event, each team is assigned a 90-minute time frame to present their work to The Jury and the audience.

The designers present and discuss their models and sketches. Then, actors perform a representative scene. After each presentation, The Jury discusses and critiques the team’s ideas, designs and performance. Later in the afternoon, The Jury reassembles and the film director introduces the team and shares its approach to the script. The short film that they have produced is shown and then discussed and critiqued by the jurors. 

More information

The SDSU community is invited to attend The Jury. 

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21 in SDSU's Experimental Theatre. It is free and open to the public.