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The design PROCESS starts with the script.  All designers must  read the script. Realistic and interesting designs/design concepts can not be created without knowing exactly what the script requires.


Once the NEEDS of the script are determined, all designers take the time to  INTERPRET the script:  What does it MEAN?  What's MOST IMPORTANT to convey through design?  What is the HEART of the production?  What should it FEEL like? What's the THEME?  Is there a STYLE that should be considered when designing?  Is there an important or implied METAPHOR that could be shown through design?  What COLORS, IMAGES, and COMPOSITION on stage may best support the director's telling of the story?

After a designer has INTERPRETED the script (which is shared/discussed with the director), (s)he then goes in search of  rESEARCH & INSPIRATION for the design.  This is often done by researching various aspects of the script/story, including the setting, the time period, historical references within the script, the style or genre of the piece, photos from the time period or setting, source material, etc.  A designer may also research her/his own ideas for design.  See an example of what I mean by this HERE. (Note: The video discusses this in the context of set design but the same things apply in all design areas.)

As part of YOUR Design Process, you will be creating a Design Board to visually display your research/inspiration and designs.  

collecting/CREATINg COSTUMES  

Once a designer has carefully read the script (to determine what's needed for design), and has both interpreted and researched important aspects of the script and design (which also involves design meetings with the director), (s)he can then BEGIN DESIGNING

In order to design anything, a new designer must become comfortable with failure, and leave plenty of time for it during the process.  All creative work involves multiple attempts before arriving at the best outcome.  If you "get it right" the first time, you're probably not involved in creative work, and should re-consider what you've created.  Failure is natural, accepted, and expected in this course.  However, waiting until the last minute to fail is not, so please watch your calendar closely and plan ahead!  Theatre is ALWAYS on a timeline.


Designing and creating anything that's original requires planning.  How this planning "looks" is up to you, but you need to make your designing/planning VISIBLE.  Your  planning may include sketches of your designs, or even photos of prototypes or physical attempts at your design.  This documentation process could also include a catalog of tutorial videos on how you learned to compile or make your costume, interviews with experts, or documentation on mentoring you received in tool use or skill development in order to gather or create your costumes/costume pieces.  (You can use your Google Classroom Process Journal to document your journey each week of your design process.)

Task (SUMMATIVE Grade):  YOUR contribution to the costumes used in the show.

PRE-PRODUCTION costuming tasks:



Note:  Your Costume Deadline is Friday, 12/11/20 - all actors must be fully in costume by then, so be sure all fittings and alterations are complete BEFORE then.

Read:  Costume Fitting Advice

  • Think about what to communicate with actors prior to YOUR fittings.

Watch:  A Day in the Life of a Dresser 

  • Who in OUR show may need dressers, and who will provide that assistance and how?

  • Create Dresser Lists (Costume Piece Lists, Checklists, Quick change stations if needed)

Watch:  Quick Changes (Mary Poppins)

  • Will there be any quick changes in OUR show?  How can you best prepare for, AND rehearse these changes?

Read/Print:  Quick Changes (includes steps with photos)

dress/tech rehearsal costuming tasks:

Prior to Dress/Tech rehearsals, all costumes & costume pieces should be complete.  Artistic aspects, such as detail work (sewing on finishing touches, alterations, etc.) may still be on-going, but the actual costumes must be completed prior to the first Tech rehearsal. (Note:  Your Costume Deadline is Friday, 12/11/20 - all actors must be fully in costume by then.)

Note:  It is the job of the Costume team to be sure everyone is equipped with appropriate undergarments - if needed - as well as shoes and tights/socks.  Please be sure you've communicated these needs with actors far enough in advance if this responsibility falls to them.  Providing actors with pictures, and/or links of where to find the items, is most helpful.




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