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Theatre Design & ProductionCollege-Conservatory of MusicTheatre Design & ProductionUniversity of Cincinnati

Theatre Design & Production
The Magic Flute (2013); Direction: Steven Goldstein; Set Design: Ryan Howell; Costume Design: Dean Mogle

CCM's The Magic Flute (2013); Direction: Steven Goldstein; Costume Design: Dean Mogle

Costume Design and Technology

The design of a successful theatrical costume involves an insight into the dramatic character's development, an ability to blend with the visual style of the scenic design, a recognition of the director's vision of the staging and a special individual flair or style that is the costume designer's alone. The costume designer enhances the actor's physical and expressive ability through the cut, draping, choice of fabric and ornamentation, creating an appropriate effect with silhouette, line and color. The artistic skills of sketching and color rendering, a strong sense of historical period and style, a comprehensive knowledge of the practices and techniques of costume technology and good communication, interpersonal and organizational skills are essential to augment the designer's natural talent.

Costume technology involves the realization of the costume designer's sketches, samples, notes, research and fabric swatches into practical, effective and affordable costumes for a theatrical production on stage, television or film. Knowledge of the design process, historical periods and styles and familiarity with the dramatic or lyric work are also required. Pattern drafting, cutting, draping, stitching and dyeing form the core of the craft, with additional craft work in fabric painting, millinery, weaving, leather and mask work. Knowledge of fabric characteristics from traditional cottons, silks and wools, to contemporary synthetics, plastics and even metals is essential. Responsibilities for the costume management of productions range from the costing, construction and fitting phases, to material, equipment and costume inventory control, to fast changes backstage and wardrobe maintenance during the run.

This program emphasizes the dual importance of design and technology no matter in which area one's strength may lie, as knowledge and communication skills in both are critical in this collaborative art, and especially valuable for professional entry-level positions.

Interested in more information?
Read a letter from the Head of Costume Design and Technology, Dean Mogle.