Stage Designers Lesson 6: Costume Design

Task 1

Watch this clip on YouTube:

Answer these questions about what you’ve watched:

  1. How are costumes, wigs, hair and make up so important to theatre?
  2. How are actors involved in the design process?
  3. What do you need to take into consideration when approaching a period performance?
  4. Why do you need to take into consideration the type and size of theatre that the performance will take place in when designing costumes?
  5. How has costume design changed in the last 50 years?

Task 2

Read through these three web pages from BBC Bitesize.

And complete the worksheet that you can download from here.

Task 3

Choose a character from your favourite play or musical.

You are going to design two costumes for one character. One costume from the beginning of the play and one costume from towards the end of the play. It must be an original design, so it must be your interpretation of the character and their costume..

Consider what the costume needs to communicate about the character, the context and the style of the production to the audience.

Refer to how you would use colour, fit, fabric, cut and the conditions of costume to communicate these to your audience. Think about the space that you are performing in and how your costume needs to respond to those needs.

Create your designs on paper and draw them. They only need to be sketches.

Task 4

Answer this question:

As a designer describe in detail your costume design for the character you have chosen. You should justify your ideas with reference to the original staging.

In your answer refer to:

  • the character and their context
  • the production style
  • the way you’ve used colour, fabric, cut, fit and conditions to communicate to the audience.