The costumes for all the departmental productions are created here in the costume studio. The studio is equipped with the tools necessary to accomplish any sort of construction required for a production. We have sewing machines, industrial machines, sergers, professional industrial irons, a steamer, a full complement of dress forms for men and women and a washer and dryer. There are four regulation height cutting tables and a private area with a full-length three-way mirror that is used for fittings. We have the luxury of the dressing rooms opening directly into the shop and our costume storage space is located on the same floor as the studio. We have also recently acquired a brand new dye vat, making it possible to create even more wonderful fabric effects. There is also space for the creation of costume props, accessories, wigs and make-up.
There are usually about twelve students who work in the costume studio as their work study. They are a mix of theater majors and non-majors, upper class and first-year students, and male and female. The student employees have the opportunity to learn the complete costuming process, from design to patterning to construction to the final performance.
Each year, Introduction to Costuming is taught. This class has a lab component of 40-50 hours of work in the costume shop during the semester. This allows the students, usually theater majors, to get hands on training in the costuming process.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University
Chair, Theater Department