Graduate Programs
Costume Production

The Graduate Costume Production Program produces leaders and innovators who are capable of working collaboratively and interdisciplinarily in the fields of modern costume making and management. These artisans work at the intersections of time-honored techniques, innovative methodologies, and emerging technologies to create garments for the performing arts.

Our students are prepared to bring their own ideas and breadth of knowledge to the collective, creative table and to respect the interplay among artists that allows for exploration of worlds beyond any singular imagination. They possess a realistic knowledge of the business; open, positive attitudes; active, inquisitive minds; and the passionate goal of entering the profession upon graduation.


The Costume Production program promotes mastery in areas including draping, flat patterning, tailoring, stretch techniques, and dancewear. Crafts including fabric dyeing and painting, needle arts, armor, millinery, footwear, jewelry, and mask-making are foundational. Management coursework in business standards, conflict negotiation, and personnel and resource management round out the rigorous curriculum.

The holistic training champions understanding of the history of clothing, the impetus of the designer, and the nuance of the dramaturgical and directorial approach to a text.

The thesis, completed in the third year of study, allows students to explore an area of personal interest that evolves a current practice, incites new protocol, or otherwise propels the industry or individual forward.

Recent Visiting Artists

  • John David Ridge
  • Polly Kinney
  • Jeff Fender
  • David Brian Brown
  • Steven Bryant
  • Zandra Rhodes
  • Lalon and Theresa Alexander
  • Marianne Krostyne
  • Steve Tolin / Tolin FX


Classroom training synthesizes into practical application when Costume Production students interact across disciplines with opportunities to create for the School of Drama and School of Music productions as drapers, makers, crafts artisans, and managers. Production opportunities are chosen based on a student’s abilities and vocational aspirations. Faculty advisors support and monitor each student’s progress throughout the course of the program.

Professional experience is gained through a variety of avenues including relationships with local professional theaters and makers as well as summer internships with nationally acclaimed performing arts institutions. Regular industry guests provide value added content by exposing students to renown experts in the field.

Unique Platforms

All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:

Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.

A Festival of Independent Student Work: Playground is the annual, School of Drama, three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.

The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests to campus to work with students across all disciplines.

The School of Drama Showcase presentations in Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles are designed to give graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals.

Graduates from the School of Drama Graduate Costume Production Option are sought after to work as drapers, first hands, tailors, painters/dyers, milliners, entrepreneurs, designers and studio managers.

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Graduate Costume Production Curriculum


Brian Russman

Hugh Hanson

News & Alumni

Your Future

Graduates from the School of Drama Costume Production Option are sought after to work as drapers, first hands, tailors, painters/dyers, milliners, entrepreneurs, designers and shop managers

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