Teaching Experience
 
 

I was hired in the Fall of 2007 to design the costume, wigs, and makeup for Northern Kentucky University’s Spring 2008 musical “CATS!”.  Since the “CATS!” costumes were mainly constructed of stretch fabrics, and this is my specialty, I was hired to teach the Costume Construction II class of 11 students to construct 25 of the costumes.  


The students took away with them skills that most costuming students would never get a chance to learn; skills that will set them apart from other costumers as they pursue their costuming careers.

 

The students in my class constructed, painted, and decorated all of the costumes, with the exception of two pieces I made (Bustopher Jones fat suit, and Mr. Mistofeles’ coat). 


Several students from my class were also in charge of makeup and wigs.  As with the costumes, they followed my designs and then added their own creative touches.

Basics of stretch fabrics

Understanding of fabric construction

Care

Uses

Basics of construction using stretch fabrics

Cutting

Assembly

Using a serger to serge stretch fabrics

Advanced construction techniques using stretch fabrics

Gloves

Ears

Tails

Zipper installation

Decoration of stretch garments

Painting

Airbrushing

Applying hair

Construction of fur pieces

BONUS: Textile Workshop (after show opens)


Class Projects and Assignments

Each student will take at least two CATS! Costumes through the entire production process, from alteration of pattern to fit actor, through cutting, construction, and decoration.

Curriculum Summary

One of the most important duties as Costume Shop Foreperson at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is to teach lab students from other disciplines within CCM to do simple hand-sewing tasks and assist in the maintenance of the costume shop and stock areas.  All Freshman CCM students are required to take a lab class in the costume shop, (as well as a lab class in the scene shop) and most of these students have never sewn a stitch in their lives before taking this lab course.  The course I have designed for these students, (which number between 20 and 25 students per quarter, most of them fresh out of High School), has them confidently performing basic hand sewing tasks, (hemming, sewing in actor labels, sewing on buttons, snaps, and hooks and eyes), with an hour of instruction and practice.  But my training goes beyond this.  I have designed the lab curriculum to encourage time management skills and a strong work ethic;  to foster an appreciation of the enormous amount of time, effort, and talent that goes into creating the costumes they will wear on stage; to make their time in lab a positive experience; and to foster a sense of pride in a job well-done, even if that job is not in their chosen profession.


In the course of supervising the workflow in the costume workshop, which includes as many as seven undergrad costume majors, seven costume grad majors, and 20 to 25 undergrad non-majors, I have opportunities daily to instruct students in more advanced sewing techniques.

Faculty, Northern Kentucky University

Lab and Workshop Instruction

UC College - Conservatory of Music

From  2005  to  2007 I toured the United States teaching University and College faculty and staff in many states the “ins and outs” of creating custom made and custom dyed stretch garments.  I had run a custom stretch garment manufacturing business for 17 years that supplied almost every major university, college, and regional theater in the United States with parti-colour tights and other stretch garments designed for theater.  I learned that most theatrical costume shops in educational theater don’t have the knowledge and skills to create their own stretch garments.  After selling my business, I set out to teach these skills to costumers throughout the country.


For more information on these seminars and workshops, please see the Seminars page

National Seminars