Michigan State University
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Department of Theatre
Department of Theatre



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jacob Cooper Alum Photo

Meet Jacob Cooper

Major and degree earned: Minor in Theatre and B.A. in Advertising
Graduation year: 2011
Current role: Senior Designer at SpotCo – Entertainment & Arts Advertising
Hometown: Howard City, MI
Now living in: New York City, NY
Website: jacobcooperdesign  

Why did you choose Michigan State University?

I considered several art schools before finally choosing Michigan State. I always knew I wanted to work in the arts, but wanted a classic college experience, one that allowed me the opportunity to expand my interests and knowledge in various fields of study. MSU is an incredible place to grow, personally, professionally and academically.

How did Michigan State University help you prepare for your career?

While all aspects of my education have proven invaluable in some way to my career, I can say with confidence that it was my theatre education that has proven most essential to my career. The department and its brilliant faculty taught me how to listen and respond, how to analyze a script, how to tap into the emotion of an audience and bring the written word to life. Though I may not be performing on a Broadway stage, these lessons are applied daily in my development of key art for Broadway shows. I am tasked with developing a single image that conveys the world and emotional promise of a show, both on Broadway and long after it has left the stage. Theatre is about understanding people, whether they be a written character or a tourist seeing their first Broadway show. My education in the Michigan State Department of Theatre taught me to do just that. 

What was the most memorable experience at Michigan State University?

How can I choose just one when there are so many? The people are really the most memorable part of my experience at Michigan State. My fellow students and professors in the theatre department were constantly pushing me further and further outside the realm of what I considered comfortable or easy, and for that I am forever grateful. I am also grateful to Rob Roznowski and Kirk Domer for allowing me the opportunity to design the season posters for the department's shows, as I've been designing/advertising for the theatre ever since!

What advice do you have for today’s students?

1. TAKE AN ACTING CLASS! As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, acting in college was so transformational for me. Regardless of whether or not you want to pursue acting as a career, it provides a valuable lesson in communicating with others, understanding yourself (emotionally, intellectually and physically), and stretching yourself in ways you didn't even know you were capable of.

2. Invest the time and energy into figuring out what you want to do professionally. Your time in college is this beautiful little buffer between you and the real world, so use this time wisely! As cheesy as it sounds, there's an awesome and fulfilling job out there for everyone, and the harder you work to discover what a fulfilling career looks like for you, the easier it will be to find it and pursue it.

Portfolio Samples:

 Copper Tony Party for Fun Home

Jacob Cooper at the SpotCo Tony Party for Fun Home by Lansing Native, Lisa Kron.


Recent Broadway Poster Designs by Jacob Cooper:



Jacob Cooper is the Senior Designer at Spotco, a worldwide leader in entertainment and arts advertising. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, Jacob moved to New York to work for the agency and has since designed the key art for three of the last four Tony-winning Best Musicals: Once, Kinky Boots and most recently, Fun Home. Other design credits include Radio City Christmas Spectacular (starring the Rockettes), Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper, the recent revivals of Side Show and Gigi, Twelfth Night/ King Richard the Third starring Mark Rylance and Honeymoon in Vegas. He has also designed and conceived four campaigns for Broadway Bares, an annual one night only burlesque, benefiting Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, including this year's 25th anniversary celebration. Jacob also works closely as a designer for the Dramatists Guild Fund, the public charity arm of the Dramatists Guild of America, as well as iTheatrics and the Michigan State University Department of Theatre. He currently resides in Brooklyn, which he loves very, very much.

Interested in being featured in the MSU Department of Theatre Alumni Profile Series? Click here!