DTA | The Do-it-All Director's Introduction to Costuming
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The Do-it-All Director's Introduction to Costuming

Created by Holly Beardsley

Do you know the difference between a bustle and a buckram frame? Or what works best as an emergency hem? Some directors are blessed with a big budget and a full support staff—a choreographer, a set designer, and a costumer. But the drama teacher often becomes director, choreographer, set designer, and costumer all in one.

And a budget? What’s a budget? The Do-It-All Director’s Introduction to Costuming will give you, the director, who must do it all, the confidence and skills to costume and direct, no matter your experience or budget. This course will teach you costuming basics, budget tricks, organization, and most importantly, the art of costuming as a director.

10 Modules
2 hours, 12 minutes
4 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 0: Introduction 2:47 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1: Vision: The Most Important Character 13:54 FREE PREVIEW
By having a strong understanding of the script, and especially the characters, your vision will help to drive your design. It may even make you a stronger director.
Lesson 2: Fashion, Clothes, and the Habits of a Successful Costumer 12:16
Learn the lingo, understand the styles, and learn to make decisions that are time and character appropriate.
Lesson 3: Common Costuming Mistakes 8:13
Learn the basic costuming mistakes or challenges that many people attempt and then learn the specific reasons why they aren’t successful and what you can do to turn things around.
Lesson 4: Building Your Costume Closet 7:26
A good costume stock is a life saver for most theatre departments. Learn what you can do to make the most out of your costume investments and to build a truly useful costume stock.
Lesson 5: Costumes from Scratch 39:13
From fabric choices, to necessary costume construction tools this unit will guide you through what it takes to create a costume from start to finish. Also include are some “no-sew” techniques for creating costumes.
Lesson 6: Buttoning Up Your Budget 8:43
Prioritizing your budget is a necessity. In this lesson, you’ll learn where to spend your money so that it will serve you well in your current show and for future shows as well. Holly even shares some tips on what you can do when you have no money at all.
Lesson 7: Costuming a Period Show 16:51
While period shows can often take a dent out of your budget, this lesson can help you to understand that your vision, and often clothes you may already have can serve you well or these types of productions.
Lesson 8: Dressing the Whole Show 9:29
In this lesson you’ll learn how to give your show a cohesive feeling through costume connections in groups and color choices.
Lesson 9: Showtime 13:21
Costuming moves to a whole new level when it’s time for dress rehearsals and the run of the show. In lesson 9 you’ll learn strategies for all of the areas of wardrobe for your show including dress rehearsal strategies, utilizing stage parents, and training your costumers for a show.

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Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 6

TH:Cr1.1.6.b - Identify solutions to design challenges in a drama/theatre work.

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - Grade 7

TH:Cr1.1.7.b - Explain and present solutions to design challenges in a drama/ theatre work.

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Proficient

TH:Cr1.1.HSI.a - Apply basic research to construct ideas about the visual composition of a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.b - Articulate how technical elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr5.1.7.b - Choose a variety of technical elements that can be applied to a design in a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr5.1.8.b - Use a variety of technical elements to create a design for a rehearsal or drama/theatre production.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr5.1.HSI.b - Use researched technical elements to increase the impact of design for a drama/theatre production.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr5.1.HSII.b - Apply technical elements and research to create a design that communicates the concept of a drama/theatre production.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.c - Explore a planned technical design during the rehearsal process for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.c - Consider multiple planned technical design elements during the rehearsal process for a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.c - Refine technical design choices to support the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr6.1.HSII.a - Present a drama/theatre work using creative processes that shape the production for a specific audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.c - Apply a high level of technical proficiencies to the rehearsal process to support the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

6.TH:Cr1.c - Identify solutions to design challenges in a drama/theatre work.

7.TH:Cr1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work

7.TH:Cr1.c - Explain and present solutions to design challenges in a drama/ theatre work.

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.b - Articulate how technical theatre elements are integrated into a drama/ theatre work.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Drama 10 (Greek, Medieval or Elizabethan, and Canadian)

1 - recognize theatre has evolved as a traditional art form

2 - recognize innovations in the theatre

Theatre Studies Drama 20

3 - recognize the elements of critique

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Set

3 - recognize the importance of artistic unity in set design

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

5 - recognize that “theatre is a mirror of society”.

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

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