Savannah College of Art & Design Offers First M.F.A. In Themed Entertainment Design

SAVANNAH, Georgia– Due to growth in student enrollment and programming, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts will separate into two schools — the School of Digital Media and The School of Entertainment Arts. Beginning in September, SCAD’s School of Entertainment Arts will offer an unparalleled themed entertainment design program at the university’s Savannah location.

Themed entertainment design will tap the versatility of SCAD students while enabling them to develop the diverse skill set utilized by the multi-billion dollar themed entertainment industry. The M.F.A. in themed entertainment design will prepare students to become industry professionals who design the unforgettable experiences of entertainment parks, zoos, resorts, hotels, restaurants and museums. The degree program will encompass fields ranging from interior design and animation to exhibit and production design.

The esteemed faculty members leading the themed entertainment design program have vast industry knowledge and experience, having designed experiences for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Orlando, Fla., Hong Kong, Paris and Tokyo, as well as Universal Parks and Resorts in Orlando, California and abroad. Professors include long-term veterans of Walt Disney Imagineering, a recipient of lifetime achievement honors from The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and a current board member of the Themed Entertainment Association.

“The relevance and quality of SCAD’s themed entertainment design program will prepare graduate students to lead the industry as creative thinkers, storytellers, designers and producers,” said Peter Weishar, SCAD Dean of Entertainment Arts. “With more than 30 theme parks being planned in China alone, the national and international demand for individuals who are highly trained in the disciplines of themed entertainment design will only continue to grow.”

In addition to the graduate degree, the Savannah College of Art and Design will offer a minor in themed entertainment design.

Led by Weishar, the former dean of the School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts, the School of Entertainment Arts will also oversee dramatic writing, film and television, performing arts, production design, sound design and equestrian studies.

Tina O’Hailey, the former associate dean for the School of Film, Digital Media and Performing Arts, will serve as dean for the School of Digital Media. This school will house the departments of animation, interactive design and game development, motion media design, television producing and visual effects.

Given their complementary nature, the new schools will continue to collaborate in order to expose students to a variety of disciplines.