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Costume sessions planned for 2009 in Cincinnati will be just as interesting as those which drew crowds at the 2008 Conference in Houston, Texas. Shown at left are participants moving in for a closer look and continued discussion following Crafts and Wigs with the Artisans of the Alley Theatre.

Photo/Casey Kearns

Costumers Announce Conference Sessions

Cathryn Ellis
Costume Design & Technology Commission

March may seem a long time from now, but registration information for the Cincinnati 2009 Conference & Stage Expo is now available on the USITT website, and it is time to start planning the trip. The Costume Design & Technology Commission has assembled an exciting roster of workshops. The conference will begin with several sessions from the Commission on March 18, 2009.

Beginning the conference at noon on Wednesday, Doug Kreinik will present a session on Costumes Without Sewing. He will show examples and techniques of costume embellishment and construction (that can also be used to construct props) that do not use either sewing or glue. At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Alexandra Bonds will present a workshop on the Costumes of the Beijing Opera. Ancient China used dress as a way to identify one’s place in society, and the traditional theatre form of the Beijing Opera evolved within this rank- and clothing-conscious world. It absorbed the design language that emphasized the use of clothing to identify characters on stage. Through a complex system of visual cues from the form, color, and surface designs, the costumes of the Beijing Opera communicate the characters to the audience.

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Heather Fleming will present a workshop on Modifying Wigs. The purpose of the modifications is to create a more natural effect and superior fit, a more heightened effect, or other desired changes. Techniques demonstrated will include ventilation, removal and reinsertion of wefting, inserting parts or combovers, bald spots, color streaks, adding length, and changing texture. At 6 p.m. will be  workshop on Creating Costumes from Found Objects. This session will be led by Joan Mather and is a hands-on workshop. Attendees will work in groups of five to six to create, on a dress form, a costume from non-traditional and found objects.

The final session of the day is the annual Costume Design & Technology Commission meeting. The is an informal and informational meeting that provides programming and networking opportunities to anyone interested in the areas of costume design and technology projects. At the Commission meeting, the annual budget will be discussed, the summer symposium will be presented, and the membership will vote on the workshops sessions for the 2010 convention in Kansas City.

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