Costume Technology, part of the Live Design program at The University of Texas at Austin, includes mastery of both traditional and modern techniques as applicable to all forms of costume creation for live performance (theatre, opera, ballet), film and television. Strong emphasis is placed on the individual needs of each student and the development of high-level professional skills in the areas of draping, tailoring, mask-making, classical tutus, armor, surface design, millinery, puppets, wigs, make-up and costume shop management. All students are required to generate original work through innovative thinking, expansive research and collaborative experimentation.
The Costume Technology program aims to develop student's artistry, leadership and entrepreneurial experience while providing a foundational knowledge of skills and technological tools to serve tomorrow's storytellers in the theatre and makers of work in a variety of other creative spaces including opera, film, television, art installations, exhibit design, theme parks and retail space.
We consider Costume Technology to be an area of work and study that is in conversation with all other disciplines throughout The University of Texas at Austin's graduate program. The M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in live design is a three-year, 60 hour course of study consisting of four components: the design studio, skill-building, realized productions and critical thinking/writing, culminating in a unique thesis of the student's own invention. Two candidates per discipline are admitted each year to a program of 30 students - a small group within the large department.
In addition to The University of Texas at Austin's Graduate School requirements, we require that students submit a portfolio of work online or by mail for review. All students must provide their own sewing and pattern making tools and supplies. Review the requirements and begin you application today.
Students must own a laptop computer with a required suite of software and a removable USB drive of at least 100GB.
Students entering the program will typically be assigned to assist an advanced graduate student or one of our professional staff members. When the student has shown significant progress they will be offered production assignments in the areas of draping, tailoring, crafts and/or management. Costume Technology students emerge with a full portfolio of realized work and class projects that demonstrate a full range of skills in a variety of technological mediums.
Conference and Internship Opportunities
The program is primarily completed on campus, although we do encourage travel and participation for professional and cultural education. The Prague Quadrennial, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), summer work positions and study abroad have often been part of the student experience during graduate school at the university. Many students have participated in internship programs at major theaters, professional New York costume shops, major opera companies, design studios and television studios. In some cases, partial financial support is available from the university for these opportunities.