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Costume Designer

All of our staff works together as a team to help successfully get all 14 productions up and running each session. We look to our tech team to utilize your complete skillset not just your primary talent. So when we need you, you will be asked to help other departments finish up those last few projects before opening. Whether is be helping sew on those last few buttons, painting projects, or even doing last minute lighting checks. We all jump in to help everyone finish on time. 

An Excerpt from the Costume Shop Handbook:

Stagedoor Manor is a Performing Arts Camp for ages 10 -18, in NY’s Catskill Mountains.  Our program is for youth interested in exposure to the theatre, in a Summer Stock style setting.  As a Costume Designer you will design 6 shows over the course of the summer, while working in a team atmosphere to assist in the build of all 42 productions we produce each season.

Directors Meeting – Schedule meetings with your Directors. This is your opportunity to exchange ideas from specific characters to the overall look of the show. Be imaginative and share your thoughts but please keep in mind it is the Director’s vision we are trying to support with our creativity.  We never want to automatically say “No” to their request, but at this time you shouldn't promise anything specific, rather, take note of what your Director would like to see and tell him/her you will check what we have available.

Meet The Cast – During the first rehearsal you will want to go to the rehearsal space for your shows and introduce yourself to the cast. This is a good chance to see your Actors and make note of who your leads are. Please make sure you tell your cast to come check out shoes if they need them. 


Show Grid - Using the form provided you will create a breakdown for your show by scene numbers and actor name. After receiving your cast list, fill in the names of the principal actors and ensemble and make a check mark in the box representing which scenes they appear in as well as noting what costume they wear in that scene. You may need the assistance of your Director and/or Stage Manager to find out this information. You will then have your Director approve this chart and sign it. This chart is a vital tool, especially for knowing how many actors are in large chorus numbers. You will also want to hang this chart backstage in your dressing room for the cast to refer to during the show. 

Shoe Check Out- Actors are encouraged to check out shoes for your shows. As you are designing your show, keep in mind the style of shoe you would like your cast to wear. Try to keep the looks basic. You will need to make a list of the shoe style you want, and which actors will be wearing them. You will then go to a rehearsal (or notify the SM) and inform the cast what style they should check out from the costume shop if they don’t have the style you would like to see on stage. You should also let them know that shoes are not to be worn outside.


Costume Fittings – The ONLY time we can conduct fittings is during rehearsal periods.

  •   You should only schedule fittings for days when the cast is in the Studio Spaces, NOT on Stage.

  •   Fittings should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

  •   On the day of your fittings, you will go to the rehearsal space and check in with your Stage Manager to insure that actors are available. Do Not simply wait for the actors to arrive.

  •   Ensemble fittings should be 2 at a time and take around 20 minutes each while leads should be fitted one at a time and take around 30 minutes.  Stagger your lead's fittings so they will not all be out of rehearsal at the same time.

Tech Rehearsal Speech – This should be given the day before the Tech Rehearsal.  This is your opportunity to talk with your cast and explain the reasons for Tech Rehearsal and the rules that accompany it. They should know that this is when we parade all of the costumes for the Director, work out quick changes and list any needs or alterations to be made before Dress Rehearsal. The following is a few points to cover in your speech…

  •   No food or drink backstage, only water in closed containers.

  •   Costumes should not be touched until Designer is present.

  •   Costumes do not leave the building.

  •   Check all costumes before every show.

  •   Bring all shoes required.

  •   Wear appropriate undergarments.

  •   Hang costumes back on rack, keep dressing room neat.


Tech Rehearsal – On Tuesday and Wednesday of Tech Week, each show will have a full run-thru in costume during morning rehearsal, this will continue into the afternoon rehearsal if needed to get through both acts.

Paint Shoes – Shoes needing to be painted should be done after final dress rehearsal.

Performance – Each Designer will act as Backstage Dresser for their shows. You will need to be in the dressing room 1 hour before curtain, earlier if you have presets to do. The Actors should not begin to get dressed until you are there. After each show you will need to tidy up dressing rooms and make ready for the next show.

Click here to read more about Swing Techs

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