Costume Design - 461
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TH 461.01    
Costume Design
Fall 2001 TR  11-12:50  MC 213 (3 credit hours)
Scott R. Robinson
  Office MC 103 Phone 963-1273
Office Hours: MTW 9 -10 am and MTWR 1-2pm Friday afternoon by appointment


Required Texts:      The Magic Garment  - Rebecca Cunningham, 1994.


It will be the student's responsibility to acquire, through purchase, the internet or library loan, the scripts for each of the plays covered in the course. 

Required Supplies

bulletPad of drawing paper 12x18 or larger
bulletDrawing Pencils  - hard and soft 
bulletArtGum or kneaded eraser
bulletWatercolor paper – 12x18 or larger
bulletWatercolor brushes - #6 or #8 red sable or red sable blend 
bulletWatercolor paint -  beginner assortment sets 8-12 colors
bulletRoll of masking tape 1/2” 
bulletA paint board – 16x20 3/8” plywood

Course Objectives:


Develop knowledge of the theory and skill in the practice of costume design.


Use the elements of design in creating costumes for both contemporary and period plays.


Understand of psychological uses of the design principles in creating impressions for the audience.


Understand the role of the costume designer from development of the design through production.

Course Outcomes:

Students With Disabilities

If you have a disability that may prevent you from meeting course requirements, contact the instructor immediately to file a Student Disability Statement and to develop an Accommodation Plan.  Course requirements will not be waived but reasonable accommodations will be developed to help you meet the requirements.  You are expected to work with the instructor and the CWU Disability Support Specialist to develop and implement a reasonable Accommodation Plan.

Course Requirements

Assignments and Percentage     
bullet1st Play The Matchmaker -Wilder                
bullet2nd Play End Game - Bechett                

bullet3rd Play The Tempest - Shakespeare                             

        Quizzes                        20%

Short papers, Skill Development, and in-class assignments      


Grading Scale  

Due to the subjective nature of design projects grades will be assigned based on a comparative scale.  i.e. average work will receive an average grade. Over the years your instructor has seen a lot of average or below average work.             

90 - 100 = A - Superior
80 - 89 = B - Above Average
70 -79 = C - Average
60 - 69 = D - Below Average
Less than 50 = F - Unacceptable

Attendance Policy: 

Students must attend class regularly in order to do well in this course.  Due to the interactive components to this course students will need to attend each meeting so as not to disappoint group members.  Students are allowed three unexcused absences.  For each absence over three, however, two points will be deducted from the student’s final average.  Students will be able to have absences related to required CWU business excused if they provide the instructor appropriate documentation on the day of return to class.  Excuses must be originals - no photocopies will be accepted.  Finally, if at all possible, students should notify the instructor of any excused absences prior to the day to be missed.

Students who have unexcused absences on test days will receive a zero for the particular test.  In addition, students who are not prepared to give assigned presentations when called on in class or who have unexcused absences on presentation days will receive a zero for the presentation

In addition, habitual tardiness needs to be avoided as it disrupts the learning environment.  If you walk in after the instructor has called role you will be counted absent

Writing Component 

Each student will be responsible for a note book/resource file, for each play. This notebook will document in separate sections individual analysis of the script, class discussions, group discussions, graphic sources and supporting research (social, economic, political etc)

From the notebook students will develop a free writing draft, outlining their concept of each project.  This draft will discuss the metaphor discovered in the research and the students’ design concept of the play.  The draft will be shared with assigned groups and submitted to the instructor.  The student will then revise the draft to a finished typed position paper solidifying their personal concept and design direction.  This will result in finished costume renderings.

A final Design Package will result.  It will include: a notebook/resource file, concept paper and costume renderings.  Grading will focus on development of notebook (40%) through position paper (30%) and the actualized rendering (30%) representing the qualities identified in the position paper. 

Short writing assignments will also be required evaluating the costume designs of all department.  Each paper must be typed and is due the class period following the close of the production.


Week 1

Chapter 1 & 2

Week 2

Chapter 3 
1st Play
Class Discussion
Chapter 4

Week 3

 1st Play Research Discussion 
Chapter 5
1st Play
Paper due

Week 4

Chapter 6
1st Play
Design Presentations

Week 5 

Chapter 7
2nd Play
Class Discussion

Week 6

Chapter 8 

Week 7

2nd Play Research Discussion

Week 8

2nd Play Paper due

Week 9 

2nd Play Design Presentations
3rd Play
Class Discussion

Week 10

3rd Play Research Discussion

Week 11

3rd Play Research and Paper Due

Week 12 Exam Week

3rd Play Design Presentations 


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