Costume design course offers real job experience

Cedric Phillips

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Katharine Tate, junior in theater, looks at the posters she made for "God of Carnage". This was the first time that students had submit bids to design the costumes for the department show. Tate said, "I love that designing costumes requires you to use the left and right side of your brain. I get to draw the designs on paper and than produce them."The show opens March 13 in the Minnie Rhea Wood Theater. Photo by Lauren Roberts

Katharine Tate, junior in theater, looks at the posters she made for “God of Carnage”. This was the first time that students had submit bids to design the costumes for the department show. Tate said, “I love that designing costumes requires you to use the left and right side of your brain. I get to draw the designs on paper and than produce them.”The show opens March 13 in the Minnie Rhea Wood Theater. Photo by Lauren Roberts

A costume design course offered only in the spring gave theatre students the chance to gain real-world experience by preparing costume design concepts for the upcoming play God of Carnage.

Katharine Tate, junior in theatre, was chosen to design the costumes for God of Carnage. “Everyone I know from any other fine arts college never had to bid for their costume designs, they never get that experience,” Tate said.

The bidding process required students to prepare their concepts and then present them to the class. Director of the play and associate theatre professor Laura Jefferson and costume designer Elizabeth Lewandowski, chair of theatre, then chose the concept that best reflected the modern New York setting of the play.

“The costume designer’s job is to imagine going into the closet of each of the characters and deciding what would they have, and on that day, what would they wear,” Lewandowski said. “The audience looking at the characters should know things about them before they even speak.”

Lewandowski said the costume design course gives students a chance to work under the same restraints they would have to work under in their post-graduate career, having little time or budget to complete the job. In this case, Tate is limited to a budget of around $500.

Lewandowski said she chose Tate’s concepts based on her grasp of factors such as the weather in New York and the daily tasks of the characters.

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