Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Courses in Costume Design/Making
- Hi! I just graduated from grad school last year, and as my selection
process is in recent memory, I am glad to help.
First of all, are you interested in Theatre, Film, or Fashion? Will you be
entering as an undergrad? You can start your search (perhaps you already
have) by looking up some of the organizations listed on the Costumer's
Manifesto, such as USITT, or URTA. They hold conventions and send out
newsletters, some even have listings of member schools on the web.Interviews
are often held at their conventions.
I attended graduate studies at Purchase College, part of the State
University of New York system, which includes CUNY (City University of New
York), and The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. A perk of
being a part of SUNY is that you can make use of FIT's library, a great
resource. Purchase is a small, young school concentrating on the arts, and
with the state school price tag, gives a lot of bang for the buck. The
Conservatory of THeatre Arts and Film, Department of Design/Technology is a
close-knit group, made of professional, working designers from New York City
on the faculty. They offer BFA and MFA programs in all areas of design, and
because it is a small department, you are guaranteed the opportunity to
design a mainstage show AS AN UNDERGRAD. The program is intensive (ie. be
prepared to spend ALL of your time either in class, the theatre, the costume
shop, or your studio), and you will gain practical skills in building
costumes as well as designing them. Purchase uses New York resources for
rental and supplies, as they are 1/2 hour train ride into the city, and you
will become familiar with the same stores used by professionals on
Broadway. IN addition, classes often go on field trips into the city to
attent dress rehearsal at Lincoln Center and Broadway theatres.
So there's my requisite plug to my alma mater.
Some other schools I looked into:
Yale School of Drama
Yale has a great reputation for design, and a good location in New Haven,
Connecticut, a city with an active cultural community. New Haven is a
traditional trying ground for shows bound for New York, and is a 1 1/2 hour
train ride from New York City. The school costume shop is staffed by
professionals who have contacts regionally with other theatre professionals.
On the down side, I have heard that though their graduates draw and design
beautifully, the program is not as pracitally oriented, and therefore, if
you are more interested in costume construction, there are better choices.
Also, as an "Ivy League" school, the financial aspect may be difficult.
This private school has a competitative reputation, and Boston is a great
"town". BU works in residence with The Huntington Theatre Company, a
non-profit professional company, and a great resource for students. Boston
has great public transportation, and is chock full of cultural institutions,
such as museums and libraries for research, other schools with costume
stocks, and the symphony, ballet, etc. BU offers financial assistance, but
is competative, so apply early!
University of Connecticut at Storrs
Located in near thee state capital in the central part of the state, UConn
is somewhat isolated, but being a large state school, has a kind of
community unto itself. The Theatre department has a specialty area in
Puppetry, one of the few programs around, and a great repuation, as well as
regional professional contacts in the industry. The facilities are good,
but the department is not so huge that you'd get lost in the shuffle, and
being a state school, is financial more feasible.
New York University, Tisch School for the Arts.
NYU is located in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, of it's own fame. They
have a long history, a great reputation, can boast of many famous
graduates, and have one of the largest price tags. Like Yale, design is
emphasized over construction, though you will get a fair share of both. The
biggest benefit is possibly the contacts you will make, living in the city,
and working with professionals, though I am not sure how much mainstage
design work is afforded to undergrads, as they also have a good grad
program. I am not aware of any financial assistance they may offer, but it
doesn't hurt to ask.
University of Southern California
USC is in Los Angeles, and as you can guess, has a film program made famous
by Spielberg, George Lucas, etc. They do offer financial assistance.
Unfortunately, I don't know much more about them except they were
recommended to me by me Costuming professor at my undergrad program at a
small liberal arts college (she was an alumnus). They are very well known,
and obviously well connected with the film industry.
North Carolina School for the Arts
One of the few schools that offers a well-established program in Costume
Production, very specialized with an impressive list of course offerings,
though I never got to the interview stage, so I can't vouch for the actual
people or location, definitely worth looking into.
I hope this helps! Again, if you can afford it, join some organizations.
Many of them offer publications as part of membership, and many schools
advertise in those publications, Theatre Communications Group, for example
publishes American Theatre magazine, they have a web site, www.tcg.org,
another good publication is Entertainment Design, formerly TCI.
>From: "Pamela Shannon" <pshannon@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Courses in Costume Design/Making
>Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 11:28:07 +1100
>Hello from Down Under in Australia
>I am a student interested in pursuing a career in Design , wanting
> to specialise in Costuming.
> I am wanting to study overseas and was hoping that someone could
>offer me some advice as to what Colleges offer this course and
>which have the reputation of being the best in the area of Costume
>Design/Making. and within the industry.
>Any recommendations or suggestions or of websites that I could follow
>up would be soooooooo gratefully received.
>my email address is: pshannon@...
>course with the institution I live in
>Australia and am prepared to study overseas but living 'down under'
>it is hard to ascertain which colleges have the better profiles and
>from which college the graduates have the better employment rate and best
>reputations in the industry.
>Costume Designer, recommendations
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.