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My Fair Lady, right, represents some of the tailoring techniques which may be part of the 2006 USITT Costume Symposium in Cedar City, Utah.

Photo/Courtesy Utah Shakespearean Festival



Symposium to Focus on
Tailoring Techniques

Kristina Tollefson
Costume Design & Technology Co-Commissioner

Cedar City, Utah is the place to be this August for an exciting learning experience in the costume shops of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Those who attend USITT's Costume Symposium, A Master Class in Tailoring Techniques for Men's Wear, will learn the intricacies of 19th and 20th century tailoring techniques presented by outstanding master teachers. There are two sessions, August 6 to 8 or August 10 to 12, each covering the same material.

Because each session is limited to 22 participants, there will be plenty of individualized instruction and attention! Follow the links here for a complete schedule and registration information.

This symposium targets those who have sewing experience and are ready to master the challenging details found in men's wear and those wishing to hone their skills. Participants will have the opportunity to practice techniques such as welt pockets, pad stitching, taping, lining, pressing, and other important skills needed to create beautiful clothing.

The 2006 events are an outgrowth of the popular 2003 Symposium, but it is not necessary to have attended that class to benefit from this one.

Each of the two sessions covers identical material. All supplies for samples as well as a complete coat (wool, interfacing, lining, and pattern) are included in the registration fee. Also included are tickets to two evening productions at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, a private backstage tour, three continental breakfasts and three lunches.

Susan Davis has been a cutter and tailor since the mid-1980s working for such companies as the Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Santa Fe Opera. She worked for six years as head cutter for Seattle Opera, then started Kaufman-Davis Studio in 1996. She was co-instructor of the 2003 USITT Costume Symposium, Drafting Patterns for Menswear, and recently guest-lectured at the University of Washington (Theatrical Pattern Drafting and Draping). Ms. Davis has been the Costume Shop Manager at Seattle Opera since 2002, and co-owns and operates Period Corsets®, a line of historic undergarments, with Becky Kaufman.

Laurie L. Kurutz's 26-year career in theatre began at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival as a draper/tailor working with top-notch designers on lavish period productions. Between her 11 seasons at OSF, she worked at the Seattle Opera, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and others. While Chair of USITT Pacific Northwest Regional Section, she hosted Master Tailor R.I. Davis from England to teach a Tailoring Master Class in 1999. After 13 years as lead costumer at the University of Washington, she joined the faculty of Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

Jeffrey Lieder has supervised more than 130 productions at the Tony award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival since 1986. He is also associate professor of theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has designed costumes for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. He created headpieces and hats for The Nutcracker at the Milwaukee Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet, all designed by Zack Brown. He coordinated three USITT Symposia and conducts master classes and workshops for USITT and many universities around the country.

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