The School of Drama Costume Design Option welcomes a diversity of innovative young artists and critical thinkers for the stage, television and film industries.
Students receive intensive instruction in courses that develop their aesthetic sensibilities, understanding of history, critical analysis, making skills and practical application in realized productions.
Mentorship is a fundamental component of the costume program and includes expert facility oversight. Five full-time staff members (studio manager, draper, tailor, wardrobe and stock manager) augment classroom training in the costume studio. Five full-time faculty (Mindy Eshelman, Hugh Hanson, Brian Russman, Narelle Sissons, Susan Tsu) are distinguished, working professionals who provide mentoring academically, on productions, and professionally for students' career development.
With as many as 25 annual productions in the School of Drama—among them devised work, site specific theatre, traditional theater, musicals, opera, dance, television and film—costume students have ample opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to realized production experiences and design in any of our four performance spaces.
Non-classroom opportunities such as Dance/Light and the Playground Festival provide Costume Design students with myriad experiences to expand and hone their skills. Partnerships with professional theaters in Pittsburgh may include positions with The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Quantum Theatre and City Theatre.
International and national visiting artists present workshops and portfolio reviews throughout the year as a part of the School of Drama’s Visiting Artists Program. CMU’s acclaimed Alumni are devoted to current students and return to the school to share their expertise. Graduating students are invited to visit theaters, studios and shops in New York and Los Angeles.
All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:
Dance/Light is an annual performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the all-student creation of 22-25 original dance and movement pieces. Costume Design for Dance is a course prerequisite.
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. Work ranges from installations, game and escape rooms, and exhibitions, to short plays, musicals, devised works, and concerts.
VISITING ARTISTS PROGRAM
The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests to campus to work with students across all disciplines. Costume guest highlights include: Ruth Carter, Eduardo Castro, Constance Hoffman, Pamela Howard, NUMEN/For Use, Sally Ann Parsons, Ann Roth, and Paul Tazewell.
The School of Drama Showcase presentations in New York and Los Angeles are designed to give all graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals. When conditions warrant, this Showcase may be augmented by virtual online networking events.
Undergraduate Costume Design Curriculum
Graduates from the School of Drama Costume Design program work in a range of professional capacities as designers, assistant designers, shoppers, milliners, dyer-painters, entrepreneurs and professors. Our students work on Broadway, Regional Theater, Film, Television, and on cutting edge innovative storytelling.
Lalon Alexander: Embroidery House Owner: Elephantine Embellishments
Jen Caprio: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sesame Street ACD
Eduardo Castro: Costumer's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, Once Upon a Time, Ugly Betty, Their Eyes Were Watching God,
Alexis Carrie: Northlight Theatre, Coeurage Theatre Co., Childsplay, Inc., East West Players, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Raven Theater, Indiana Repertory Theatre
Travis Chinick: Mac Haydn Theatre, La Mama Etc, Attic Theatre, Metropolitan Opera
Lizzie Donelan: Film: Funny Face, Dream Years, Millie. Music Video: Not A Woman. Assistant Costume Designer to Suttirat Larlarb
Mindy Eshelman: Office Space, Where the Heart Is, Dear Zoe, Adidas, Visa, VW
Lydia Fine: Creative Director, Costume, Puppet and Production Designer, Pigpen
Becky Frey: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien Show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Deanna Frieman: NY City Ballet
Terry Gordon: Malibu Country, The Nanny, Reba
Matthew Hemesath: Boomerang, Sesame Street, Mozart in the Jungle(ACD) Saturday Night Live, Today Show, Jersey Boys, Papermill Playhouse
Michelle Li: Film Design: A Portrait of Frances, Enclosed. Shiva Baby. Production Design: Dating in New York. Costume Coordinator: Dr. Ride’s American Beach House
Carolyn Mazuca: CD at South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Asst. to Julie Weiss.
Molly Maginess: Homecoming, Perpetual Grace, Sister Act, As Good as it Gets.
Jennifer May Nickel: What Just Happened, Containment,Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis
Daniel Orlandi: Emmy award winner, Ford and Ferrari,The Normal Heart, Saving Mr. Banks
Ryan Park: Asst to Cathy Zuber, Radio City Music Hall, Old Vic/BAM, Peter Pan Live, Sound of Music Live
Jake Poser: Asst to Dede Aielt and An D’Huys, Designs: Stella Adler, New London Barn Playhouse, PA for Frozen
Bob Perzola: renowned opera and ballet designer, MET, Opera Australia, American Ballet
Katie Riley: Prodigal Son, The Loudest Voice, Mozart in the Jungle
Ann Roth: Oscar and Tony award winner, Doubt, The English Patient, Cold Mountain
Loren Shaw: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Flea Theatre. Asolo Rep
SusanTsu- Curator- Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation, designs for Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Hairspray, Shakespeare in Love), Quantum Theatre (The Task, King Lear), City Theatre (Jekyll & Hyde, The Revolutionists) , Pittsburgh Playhouse(The Royal Family, Little Shop of Horrors)
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