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USITT provides costume design and technology sessions which are always interesting and challenging. In 2008, at the History of Drag session, participants enjoyed this aspect of costume design.

Photo/Casey Kearns

Outline Costuming Sessions

Cathryn G. Ellis
Costume Design & Technology Commission

March is right around the corner, and the Cincinnati 2009 Conference & Stage Expo begins March 18. Registration information for the 2009 conference is available here, and it is time to get registered and make all the necessary plans to attend.

The Costume Design & Technology Commission has exciting programming planned for Friday and Saturday at the conference. Friday morning kicks off at 8 a.m. with Draping Techniques in Half Scale, presented by Pamela Rehberg. This will be a presentation and Q&A about working on the half scale dress form and half scale flat patterning. The presentation will include teaching advantages, padding out the form in half scale, solving difficult silhouette problems and techniques for sizing up patterns to full scale. This session is intended for an intermediate audience, primarily teachers.

Costume sessions will begin again at 4:45 p.m., allowing time to visit Stage Expo and all it has to offer. The 4:45 p.m. session will be a retrospective of opera designer Robert O’Hearn. This session will be chaired by Linda Pisano and will review Mr. O’Hearn’s costume and scenic design work for opera. The 6:15 p.m. session will be the ever-popular Wardrobe Work on Broadway presented by Jenna Krempel and Patricia White. They will discuss the job classifications and skills of those who work on Broadway. Also included will be a review of the theatres, scheduling, and of course, the process of moving to New York and becoming a member of the wardrobe union.

At 7:45 p.m. on Friday, the Commission will honor Professor Han Chuenqi, the costume designer for the Closing Ceremony of Beijing Olympic 2008. One of the most important costume designers in China, Professor Han is dean of the design department of the National Dance Academy of China and director of the Committee of Costume Design for the OISTAT Center in China. His recent design credits include: the Opening Ceremony of 21st International University Games; the Opening Ceremony of the Kunming International Expo; the Ceremony of the 39th National Anniversary of the Singapore Republic; and the Opening Ceremony of the East Asia Games. Onstage, he has designed for opera, dance, and musicals for many leading theatre companies in China in performances including Aida, Dream of Dunhuang, and The Butterfly.

Friday will close with the Costume Design & Technology Commission Reception.

Saturday will begin at 8 a.m. with David McCarl presenting a workshop on Elizabethan Ruffs Made Easy, a session that will demystify the construction of the classic ruff for stage purposes. The second session of the day will begin at 10 a.m. and is a panel discussion chaired by Gweneth West on Costume Designer and Draper Collaboration from the Studio to the Stage. The panel will include Judy Adamson, Paul Favini, Marcy Linton, Susan Tsu, and James Glavan.

Preserving Antique Garments will be the Commission’s final session. It will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will feature Kathie Brookfield with co-presenters Cynthia Anneus, curator of costumes and textiles at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and Jean Druesdow, director of the Kent State Museum. They will discuss techniques of preserving and displaying vintage garments.


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