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Earn Your BFA in Scene Painting from the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Webster University’s Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Scene Painting. Our technical production programs focus on innovative solutions to technical problems. Students train with highly skilled professional mentors, have direct access to up-to-date equipment, and hone their practice working in three different performance spaces. Our technical programs demand the highest standards of operations and craft helping students to bring theatrical designs to life in a safe and efficient manner.

The BFA in Scene Painting relies on a holistic approach to the technical process. The first two years of the program parallel those of our design programs to ensure a balance of studio course work and practical application. The third and fourth years focus on specialization in the student’s major. Many students opt to study abroad or do an internship during their third or fourth year at Webster.


An actor with horns wearing black leather stands in front of three others who sit on stairs behind him. The set has archways and stairs leading to a balcony with decorative, metalwork railing and climbing flowered vines.

Romeo and Juliet, 2023

A woman in a period dress sits on a red velvet chaise lounge surrounded by other actors and an accordion player.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 2024

An actor in a whimsical, flowing red and yellow gown dances in the center surrounded by actors, two wearing wings. The scene displays a crumbling stone wall with large stained-glass windows and arches, as well as ivy, moss, and trees.

Myth and Hymns, 2023

Actors sit on small, multi-level stages painted in earth-toned, grid work. One actor stands with a microphone in her hand.

Blood at the Root, 2023

Five actors dressed in medieval clothing stand in front of a crumbling stone wall and large, round, stained-glass window.

Silence, 2024

Choose Webster for Your BFA in Scene Painting

Train with the Pros

Sargent Conservatory’s training program benefits from several professional partnerships, including collaborations with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and The Muny. We share our build and paint shops with The Rep and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. We are able to offer students unparalleled opportunities to work alongside professional theatre artists, stage managers, directors and designers in the city’s thriving theatre scene.

Mentorship from Experienced Faculty

Sargent Conservatory’s faculty members are working professionals and dedicated educators committed to nurturing their students’ artistic growth. Learn more about the individual accomplishments of our faculty. Their work includes Broadway, off-Broadway, regional and international credits, as well as projects in a variety of other fields (film, television, voice-over, corporate events). Several faculty members are currently employed by our professional partners. As a result, students in our technical production programs consistently have the opportunity to work in professional endeavors.

Featured Alum

Our alums include Chasyn Andrews-Philbin (BFA in Scene Painting, ’20), whose post-graduation work includes serving as scenic artist and paints journeyman for companies such as Santa Fe Opera, MCC Theatre and Utah Shakespeare Festival, as well as for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”  Photos highlight WebCo’s “Picnic” (2022), for which Andrews-Philbin served as scenic artist.

Webster's Sargent Conservatory Curriculum

Our technical theatre programs begin with a fundamental first-year experience aimed to develop a common theatre vocabulary and practice. Key courses include:

  • Fundamentals of design
  • Scenography
  • Drafting
  • Technical production
  • Introduction to drawing
  • Principles of drawing
  • 3-D design

In the second year of training, students delve into the specific processes of their disciplines. Production assignments complement coursework, ensuring students are putting learning to hands-on practice. Key courses include:

  • Scene painting 1
  • Scene design seminar
  • Rendering
  • Vectorworks
  • Visual history
  • Figure drawing
  • Crew management
  • Theatre history

In their third year, scene painting majors take on more creative responsibility in the Conservatory production process. Increasingly, students will take advantage of opportunities for professional experiences with our professional partners. Many students opt to take a semester abroad or on internship during the third year. Key courses now include electives in other areas:

  • Scene painting 2
  • Scene design seminar
  • Design electives

The fourth year aims to provide a smooth transition into professional practice. Production assignments will serve to round out a student’s resume, and preparation for the Senior Portfolio Open House will entail creating a website and fine-tuning interviewing skills. Classes typically involve:

  • Scene painting 3
  • Scene design seminar
  • Design electives
  • Professional practice

Theatre Scholarships

Almost every full-time undergraduate student at Webster University receives some sort of financial aid. Webster’s Office of Financial Aid is committed to making a college education affordable.

Additionally, the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts awards annual scholarships designated specifically for theatre majors. In 2023-2024, the department awarded over $225,000 in scholarships to its students. Most of these awards are reserved for our third- and fourth-year students. Every year we also allot some scholarships to first-year students. These awards are made in consultation with the recruiting faculty and with the Office of Financial Aid. There is no separate application process. Please contact Andrew Laue, Associate Director of Fine Arts Admissions at, for additional information.

Five actors in casual clothing stand in a U on steps with arms out

Apply Today for the BFA in Scene Painting

Five actors in casual clothing stand in a U on steps with arms out

Webster's Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts is committed to your artistic growth and academic success. The first step is to fill out an application.

Contact Dennis Bensie, Head of Recruitment for Production Programs

Get Started on Your Fine Arts Degree in Scene Painting

Take the next step toward earning your BFA in Scene Painting — we are here to help you get started.


Learn more about our academic programs and our main campus and locations.


Connect with our admissions counselors and academic advisors.


Apply to Webster and take the next steps for financial aid and scholarships.

Contact the Admissions Office to Find Out More

If you have more questions about the program, your application or other enrollment-related inquiries, contact our Admissions Office.

Call 314-246-7800 or 800-753-6765 or send an email to