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the role of the costume designer

If you chose to serve on the  COSTUME DESIGN TEAM for this semester's Advanced Acting show, you are responsible for participating in design team meetings as well as growing as a designer during the rehearsal and performance process.


If serving on the Costume Design Team, you are ALSO responsible for independently learning about the role of a costume designer as outlined below. 


Please be sure you have your Acting/Design Binder (to collect/document your learning) and your  Process Journal (to reflect on your process/journey).




​​Task: Independent Learning (Weekly Formative Grade):  Each week, you  must complete at least ONE reading/video, (or video series) listed below ​and respond in your Advanced Acting PROCESS JOURNAL.

  • You don't need to complete in order. You can pick/choose what is most interesting and/or useful to you each week.

  • You MUST watch/read each learning activity with a star (*).  You can decide which week(s) you watch/do the starred items.


Video: Theatre Costume Design & Technology (Oklahoma City University)

Journal Title:  Skills in Costume Design

  1. What are the many different skills  involved in costume design & technology, as referenced in the video?

  2. What did you find interesting or inspiring in this video? 

Video:  Working in Theatre - Costume Designer (3:06)

Journal Title:  Roles in a Costume Shop

1. What is the primary role of a costume designer?  (mentioned right away)

2. What types of tasks does a costumer do?  ("typical day")

3. What types of roles are there in a professional costume shop?

4. What skills do you most need to be successful as a costume designer?

5. Whose vision must a costume designer support? 

Video:  Working in Theatre - Wardrobe (27:27)

Journal Title:  Process of Wardrobe

(Take notes on the process, roles, and skills needed effective for Wardrobe designers.  Document new information and/or anything that you find interesting while viewing this teaching video.)

Video: American Theatre Wing - Costume Design (5:17)

Journal Title:  Costume Process & Bible

1. What are 4 things that the designer says is helpful to have as a costume designer?

2. Describe the designer's PROCESS of design.

3. What is a Costume Bible and what (in general) does it include?  

*Video:  Beetlejuice Costume Design (9:34)

Journal Title:  Design Boards

1. What did you notice about the designer's Costume Boards? (list several things)

2. What was important for the designer when creating his designs?  (to reference, to study, etc.)

3. What types of problem-solving had to be done for Beetlejuice costume designs? (problems to solutions)

4. In what ways did the designer collaborate with actors during the process?

Video:  Film Costume Design - Designers Reveal Inspiration for Designs (3:45)

Journal Title:  What costumes can signify

1. Describe what each costume signified ABOUT the characters described.

2. Think about the characters in OUR show.  What can OUR costumes signify about the characters?  How? (Be very specific)  

*Read:  Costume Fitting Advice

How to take Measurements

Journal TitleCostume Measurements & Fittings

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

  • Detail in writing what you learned about taking proper measurements of actors.

*Video "Series": Dressers & Quick Change

Journal TitleCostume Fittings

  •  A Day in the Life of a Dresser 

  • Quick Changes (Mary Poppins)
    • Will there be any quick changes in OUR show?  How can you best prepare for, AND rehearse these changes?

    • 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) for use in our show

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

EXPLORE MORE (optional):


(This list will be added to over time.  Let KP know if you find any helpful information that could be useful to future Advanced Acting students.)


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