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MFA Costume Design & Technology Details

Course Descriptions M.F.A. 2017-2020


Course Descriptions M.F.A. 2017-2020

DRAM 7330/7340 PRODUCTION LABORATORY: COSTUME [2]  Participation in the production program of the curriculum crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume designs.

DRAM 7350 COSTUME DESIGN: TOOLS FOR CREATIVE COLLABORATION. [3] An intense study of basic design communication skills which serve as the foundation for costume designers and technologists in collaboration with directors, designers, actors and shop personnel.  Study includes script analysis, organizational paperwork, basic elements of design in line, color, texture, visual research methodology, media techniques in drawing and painting.

DRAM 7370 COSTUME TECHNOLOGY: COUTOUR METHODS  [3]  An intense study of basic execution and design techniques that enable the costume designer to translate the visual design from the sketch to the stage.  Study includes basic construction techniques, safe and proper equipment utilization, principles of pattern drafting, design analysis, shop organization and personnel management.

DRAM 7360 COSTUME DESIGN: ANALYSIS & RESEARCH [3]  Application of design principles to playscripts focusing on the examination of the special world of the play as foundation for character and character relationships.

DRAM 7380 COSTUME TECHNOLOGY: PATTERNING & DRAPING  [3]  Exploration of the fundamentals of draping and flat-patterning, the two basic systems of pattern-making upon which all patterns are based.

DRAM 8100 FIGURE DRAWIMG  [1]  Drawing from the living model in various media. Artistic anatomy, figure and portrait drawing.

DRAM 8310 FASHION & DRESS [3]  Study of period and contemporary dress and textiles as the foundation of the designer’s creation of costumes for the stage.  Analysis of cultural influences of the special world, the psychology of dress, period movement and the expression of self through choice of dress.  Development of investigative methodology through hands-on work with the Department of Drama’s Vintage Clothing and Textiles Collection. PROBABLY NEED TO ALTER THIS A BIT>

DRAM 8330/8340 PRODUCTION LABORATORY: COSTUME [2]  Participation in the production program of the curriculum crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume designs.

DRAM 8350 COSTUME DESIGN: CHARACTER & ACTOR [3]  Applies design principles and psychology of dress to character development, using scripts from Shakespeare to Williams.  Focuses on translation of idea and character through historical and theatrical forms in development of design concepts for the actor’s performance before contemporary audiences.

DRAM 8370 COSTUME TECHNOLOGY: ADVANCED PATTERNING & DRAPING  [3]  Contemporary application of period cut and construction  in the reproduction of period fashion for stage purposes.

DRAM 8360 COSTUME DESIGN: PRODUCTION  STYLES [3]  Examines advanced production forms with application of design principles to fully developed projects to be selected from a variety of theatrical forms to include plays, musicals, opera, ballet, film as appropriate to the student’s progress and focus.  Emphasizes versatility and experimental solutions to contemporary design challenges.

DRAM 8970/9970/9980 NON TOPICAL RESEARCH  [1]  Preparation for research/ Thesis. Taken under the supervision of the thesis director.

DRAM 8380 COSTUME TECHNOLOGY: ADVANCED COUTOUR & TAILORING [3] Examines the process of creating the custom made tailer garment using a variety of techniques.

DRAM 9060 THESIS  [3]  Written thesis which corresponds to the playwriting, acting, directing or  design of a production in performance.

DRAM 9330/9340 PRODUCTION LABORATORY: COSTUME DESIGN  [3] Participation in the production program of the curriculum crediting work in the preparation and performance of costume designs.

DRAM 9350 COSTUME DESIGN: BODY OF WORK  [3]  Critical assessment of the student’s portfolio and resume that lead to creation of a professional body of work.  Special projects in design and presentation are tailored to the student’s needs.

DRAM 9370 COSTUME TECHNOLOGY: CRAFTS  [3]  Examination  of traditional and innovative products and practices used in the execution of contemporary design of accessories and special costume pieces including period, fantasy, special effects and spectacle.

DRAM 9390 MENTORED STUDY: COSTUME  [3]  This guided study gives students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member expert in the particular area of costume design and/ or technology the student wishes to explore beyond the formal course work set down in the established curriculum. Repeatable up to 9 credits with varied content.


Over the course of the three years each student will have the opportunity to design a minimum of two main stage productions and serve as technologist for two main stage productions [not on the same production]. The student will have opportunities to work in a variety of styles as designer, assistant, and technologist. Production work will be closely mentored for the first two years. In the third year the MFA student will work with the production team and the shop personnel independent of faculty advisor/mentor. It is possible to meet privately with h/her advisor through the process if deemed necessary.

SUMMER: To broaden h/her knowledge and experience of theatre and provide the student with a clear vision of what a full-time career in the profession will demand as both artist and human being, summers expect to find the student participating in professional summer theatre. Only in special cases will participation in UVA’s Heritage Festival Theatre be possible and will be limited to one summer.  Spring attendance at national and regional conferences will facilitate the job search & interview process. Funding may be requested for partial support in these activities.

INTERNSHIP: In the 4th or 5th term, the student may request time away to explore a specific opportunity for three to six weeks. Requests must be fully vetted by CD&T faculty and worked out within the obligations of the course work, graduate teaching schedule, and production season. Given the opportunities of the academic year, summer stands as the preferable time for exploring various professional venues.

DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR: Each graduate student will work for 20 hours, 15 in the production of costumes for the stage and 5 as an assistant to one of the professors in delivering the costume curriculum. In addition to this weekly commitment h/she will assignments in leadership of the production program here below such opportunities are set out year by year. Throughout you will serve as assistant designers following the design process, production meetings and dress rehearsals. Wardrobe rotates by term assignment.

2017-2018 ~ YEAR ONE

  • Assist faculty designer and/or technologist in main season production at least once.
  • Serve as technologist for a major production capacity as cutter, first hand, dyer, crafts as per experience.
  • Serve as designer and/or technologist in the CAPLIN, HELMS season pending incoming experience & season.


  • Professional experience for a minimum of 6 weeks.

2018-2019 ~ YEAR TWO

  • Serve as designer for one to two main stage productions.
  • Serve as technologist for a major production capacity as cutter, first hand, dyer, crafts as per experience and expertise.
  • Serve as assistant for faculty, peer or guest designer and/or technologists.


  • Professional experience for a minimum of 12 weeks.


  • Serve as designer or technologist for one main stage production.
  • Serve in production capacity as designer, costumer, cutter, first hand, dyer, crafts as per future goals.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at