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Courses for a Costume Program

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  • Curtis Kidd
    ... Costume History, some kind of Design class that addresses basic color theory and how light plays on stage and can impact the set and costumes, Figure
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2005
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      > From: "dancecostumer" <dancecostumer@...>
      > Subject: starting a costume program
      >
      >
      > If one could create their own costume program for a
      > community college
      > from scratch what classes would you offer?

      Costume History, some kind of Design class that addresses
      basic color theory and how light plays on stage and can
      impact the set and costumes, Figure Drawing and Costume
      Rendering, some basic sewing and patterning classes,
      Tailoring and Alterations, Makeup and Wigs...I'd also
      include some basic Theater Tech classes and at least one or
      two performance classes (it's been my experience that you
      have an easier time working with other people if you know
      enough about what they're doing to not seem a total idiot
      in their eyes)...script analysis...multiple layers of
      production work (what is the plural for 'practicum', after
      all? Practica?) going from basic work as a dresser to
      being a stitcher to being a cutter to being the designer.
      I would also encourage (but not require) a good liberal
      arts background, so that a general familiarity with
      history, geography, and socio-political interactions was
      developed.

      I'm an inveterate jack-of-all-trades, myself, so I'd
      probably also encourage a lot of stuff outside the realm of
      strict costuming (I've found a lot of my props work to be
      helpful from time to time when I'm working with hats, or
      doing leather repairs, or in other situations...knowing
      which glues work best for what projects, for instance). I
      know the current trend is to specialize...and if you plan
      to work in a union-oriented area, that's very wise. But if
      you live in a region a little further off the beaten path
      (I'm in Northern Utah), diversity, rather than
      specialization, can often be the key to getting and keeping
      a good job. However, that being said, as much as I'd
      encourage a broad-based educational approach to anything
      theatrical, the stuff listed above are the kinds of things
      I have used in costuming and look for when interviewing for
      wardrobe personnel. There's probably a lot more (millinery
      work, mask-making, etc) that would be very useful but may
      be difficult to build into a full-blown course...maybe
      combined into a Costume Crafts course.


      Curtis Kidd
      "Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be you!"

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    • Miss April
      At a community college I would go an the basis its going to be 30 (taking into account the gen ed requirements that take up 30 or so hours) hours worth of
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 8 11:57 AM
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        At a community college I would go an the basis its going to be 30 (taking into account the gen ed requirements that take up 30 or so hours) hours worth of class work, so give or take 10 classes.
        1. Costume HIstory
        2. Garment Construction (toomany new designers have no idea how to build anything I have noticed)
        3. Pattern Making (see above)
        4. Figure Drawing
        5. Costume rendering (with basic desing & color theory in the class) maybe 4 cr. hours
        6. Costume Design class( dealing with textiles, fabric choices, body shapes, inaction of costume & set & lights ect)
        7. Play analysis
        8. A class dealing with light and set design (possibly 2 seperate classes)
        9. A class dealing with how to do budgets, costume plots, dealing with directors, reasearch & all the misc. paper work and admin. stuff designers to worry about
        10. advanced garment construction
        and maybe then either an advanced design class or advanced pattern making




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