Gordon Strain, M.F.A.

“When I am teaching, I like to let the students experiment. While there is information I have to deliver, the real learning happens when people are trying things out. You can’t talk about how to paint scenery if somebody has never held a paintbrush. Teaching is about knowing the students and helping them make discoveries.”


Artist in Residence

Educational Background

  • M.F.A., Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
  • B.F.A., Ithaca College – Ithaca, NY

Year Joined Franklin



My graduate degree is in scenic design, but I have been working on all aspects of “behind the scenes” for the last 25 years. While designing is my favorite, I also spend a lot of time serving as production manager.

How do theatre students capitalize on their proximity to Indianapolis?

One of the best things about majoring in theatre at Franklin College is our proximity to Indianapolis. We are able to get guest artists to come down and work with our students. And we are also able to take our students up to see how other theaters operate, whether it’s with performances or tours of spaces, it’s important that we give students the opportunities to see how other theatre artists do it. It’s also great to start building connections.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Indianapolis Arts Council “Creative Artist Renewal Fellow”
Scenic Designer at Indiana Repertory Theatre
Scenic Designer for the Tempest at the Bermuda National Theatre
Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Award of Excellence

Something My Colleagues Don’t Know About Me

I love to cook, especially for my family. I also really love to do laundry! Nothing is better than clean clothes.