School of Theater

MFA Production Management

Head of Production Management:
Gary Kechely


The specialization in Production Management focuses on developing the skills necessary for leading, and managing people, processes, resources and time in a variety of creative environments, where leadership and versatility must be combined with a broad knowledge of design and production issues. The graduate-level curriculum includes studies of management styles and structures, labor relations, and production processes in both live performance and film/video.

Program Goals

Students who complete the MFA Production Management specialization will:

  • Be well adapted, highly motivated individuals with a solid foundation of values, principles and philosophies
  • Have a well-developed sense of self and be able to appreciate who they are as individuals and how they interact with peers and colleagues
  • Understand how to foster collaboration and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Understand the fundamentals necessary to “read people” and develop a modality of “engaging” to achieve the best relationship
  • Understand strategic initiatives and how to tactically apply them through the use of the tools of schedule and budget development, monitoring and maintenance
  • Possess the skills and the flexibility to work in a wide range of disciplines, with an awareness of the field, aesthetically, politically and globally
  • Be imbued with an understanding of the ideas and practices of leadership and management and be able to fully engage as managers in the entertainment industry specifically and in project management in general 
  • Be able identify, anticipate and take steps to prevent problems and identify possible solutions to challenges that may exist. 
  • Develop the technical knowledge necessary to manage a technical process with artists and craftspeople 


Every student is assigned a faculty mentor who is responsible for guiding the student through the artistic and academic programs. CalArts emphasizes the creation of strong student-to-faculty relationships, which enable students to draw from their instructors’ knowledge and creative spirit. Although students are initially assigned to a mentor, they have the freedom to change mentors at any point, and the student-mentor relationship continues throughout the student’s time at CalArts.

Apply to CalArts

For application requirements, please visit If you wish to speak to a counselor for useful information on assembling a portfolio for admission, more information about our program, or for general questions about the application process, please email, or call (661) 255-1050.

Last edited by cyang on Nov 17, 2016
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