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Costume Design For Performance

Costume Design For Performance

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Bettina John


An introduction to the process of costume design for performance. The emphasis is on analysing character and developing a portfolio of costume renderings to support the dynamics of a playwright's characters and their situation. Through a process of creative visualisation a concept is established, which anticipates a performance and communicates ideas effectively to an audience.

You will finish with a combination of practical understanding of the industry’s design requirements, and a portfolio of project work reflecting the costume designer's creative process.

Topics covered

Project work will be centred on one playwright text, which will be used to encourage period exploration. The topics will include:

  • historical research
  • analysis of script for character breakdown
  • the role and responsibility of the costume designer
  • creative interpretation and concept development
  • story boarding and anticipating a performance communication through presentation of ideas in 2D
  • pre-production processes
  • the development of a critical eye for costume design

Who should take this course?

The course welcomes learners from a wide range of disciplines, including those wanting to develop, diversify and extend their current creative practices towards costume design for performance.

It is also suitable for those wishing to strengthen their portfolio for application to higher education studies in design for performance.

Entry requirements: None

Level: Beginners

Related courses

If you want to broaden your skills and expand your portfolio for application to further studies in design for performance, we recommend that you also take our Set Design for Performance short course.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Bettina John studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon and now works as a freelance costume and set designer predominantly in opera, dance, theatre and music. Prior to her training in London she received a degree in Fashion Design in Germany.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • A3 Sketchbook
  • Pencils
  • Pencil Crayons
  • Notebook
  • Pritt Stick Glue.

Available dates