Costume Designer


The Costume Designer is responsible for the visual appearance of the actors. These responsibilities include what is seen (clothes, shoes, hats, purses, canes, parasols, jewelry, wigs, makeup, etc.) as well as what isn’t (corsets, hoops, boning, character elements such as padded stomachs, etc.). Designs for theatrical costumes consist of colored sketches depicting the clothing and accessories that will be worn by the actor. (Based on the description in J. Michael Gillette’s Theatrical Design and Production, 6th ed.)


  1. Read the script several times, taking note of overall story and theme and specific costuming needs. Determine research and dramaturgical needs.
  2. Consult the departmental production calendar and note all due dates. It is important that you meet these dates because it affects the work of so many other people.
  3. Meet with the director and other production team members to determine the concept for the show within which all designers will work.
  4. Attend all design and production meetings. Make sure the stage manager has all of your current contact information.
  5. Create renderings of costumes as necessary for the production team to review during the design process.
  6. Renderings for all costumes to be built should be provided to the costume shop supervisor for construction. Renderings are not required for pulled costumes unless they require substantial modification.
  7. Provide drapers with copies of sketches or explanations of the designs necessary for their work.
  8. Select or approve selection of all fabric and fabric modifications.
  9. Design, select, or approve all costume accessories.
  10. Find, select, or approve the selection and alteration of all modern clothing.
  11. Design or approve hairstyles and the selection of wigs, hairpieces, mustaches, beards, and special makeups.
  12. Speak with your mentor or the costume shop supervisor about your budget and purchasing procedures and make sure you have approval on all purchases before making them. You will not be reimbursed for unapproved purchases.
  13. Communicate your availability for fittings to the costume shop supervisor, and attend all fittings.
  14. Be at the shop on time every workday to answer questions that arise. Clearly walk through the workday with the costume shop supervisor. It is their responsibility to distribute daily tasks, as they are there all day to ensure the timely construction of your design, and your schedule may not allow you to do the same.
  15. Coordinate regularly with the scenic and lighting designers to make sure that the production design is a cohesive whole. The lighting designer should be provided with fabric swatches as soon as possible.
  16. Attend dress parade and all dress rehearsals to take notes on changes and alterations.
  17. Create a wardrobe plot so that costumes may be checked in and out each day. Include a way to track pieces that need or have been sent to laundry.
  18. Attend photo call to get photographs of your design. Submit to the stage management team a very short list of specific full stage shots you would like from the professional photographer. The total number of set-ups that the photographer can take is very limited so it would be best if your list is in order of preference. You should also take your own photographs.
  19. Meet with the costume shop supervisor to discuss strike. Make note of which pieces need to be sent to dry cleaning, which will return to stock, and coordinate the return of any borrowed or rented costumes

Online application for this position.