BFA–Theatre, Costume Design major

The Design & Production programs prepare talented and committed students for careers in the professional world of theatre and related entertainment media. The program curriculum stresses the development of a student as a theatre artist, focusing on collaboration, imagination, intellect, communication skills, and oral critique, as well as preparation for a professional career.

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in design, production, graphic skills, management, and dramatic literature follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and production opportunities. The committed students who pursue the BFA–Theatre degree in Design, Production, or Stage Management at Boston University discover who they are, what they do well, and what they are capable of doing. They learn to be collaborative theatre artists who work productively under the stresses of the theatrical profession and, most importantly, they learn to integrate design, production, and management skills with their own personal sensibility.

Learning Outcomes

The Costume Design program aims to develop a complete theatre artist by fostering a passion for theatre, storytelling, design, and the collaborative process. Through their required coursework and production assignments, Costume Design students will:

  1. Demonstrate in-depth understanding of how costume design contributes to the creation of theatre through coursework and participation in productions.
  2. Collaborate and participate effectively in teams, in both leading and supporting roles.
  3. Solve problems creatively.
  4. Demonstrate historical knowledge of clothing and society to show understanding of the link between art and clothing as it applies to theatre.
  5. Critically analyze a wide range of information, texts, history, art, and design in order to design clothing that will communicate visually, conceptually, and emotionally to an audience.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in the skills necessary to be a professional costume designer, including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, draping, millinery, dyeing, and proper use of fabric.

Requirements

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Costume Design will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic & Historical Interpretation, as well as some of the requirements in Communication; Diversity, Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Program of Study

(minimum of 130 credits)

First Year

All freshmen Design, Production, and Stage Management students are admitted to the Theatre Design, Production & Management core curriculum. The freshman core is designed to provide an appropriate context for faculty evaluations of each student’s strengths, interests, and potential for success in the upper years of training. At the end of the freshman year, each student declares a major. This decision is reviewed by all members of the School of Theatre faculty before a student is officially enrolled in his or her major.

The Theatre Design, Production & Management core provides a foundation for all future study in design (lighting, scenery, costume, or sound), production (technical or costume), stage management, or theatre arts design & production. By acquiring a base of artistic and technical skills, students begin to explore the breadth and depth of what it means to be a professional theatre artist today. Please see the Freshman Core section for complete distribution guidelines.

The foundational methods class for Costume Design majors in the Core is Costume Construction (CFA TH 182). Should a student elect not to take this course as part of the Design, Production & Management core, they will be required to take this course in the spring of their sophomore year.

The foundational drafting class for Costume Design majors in the Core is Figure Drawing (CFA TH 178). Should a student elect not to take this course as part of the Design, Production & Management core, they will be required to take this course in the spring of their senior year.

Second Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 297 & 298 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 275 & 276 Costume Design 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 279 & 280 Costume Production 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 177 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 255 & 256 History of Costume 1 & 2# 2 2
CFA TH 263 Scene Design 1 3
CFA TH 377 Costume Rendering Lab 1
Drama Literature elective* 3
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4
Total 16± 18±
Third Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 397 & 398 Production^
2+ 2+
CFA TH 375 & 376 Costume Design 3 & 4 3 3
CFA TH 481 & 482 Millinery 1 & 2# 1 1
CFA TH 378 Costume Rendering Lab 1
Costume Production elective* 2 2
CFA TH 282 Intro to Textiles# 1
CFA TH 178 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 283 Lighting Design 1 3
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total 16± 16±
Fourth Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 497 & 498 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 381 & 382 Fabric Dyeing 1 & 2# 1 1
CFA TH 377 & 378 Costume Rendering Lab 1 1
Theatre History elective* 2
Directing elective* 2
Drama Literature elective* 3
Approved elective* 2 2
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total 15± 14±

^Production classes in the core are 2 credits each as assignments are closely monitored to help students acclimate to the workload in the program. Thereafter production classes are variable credit, depending on the artistic assignment. Production assignments are made by the faculty based on individual student assessment and can be viewed in three stages of the production process:

  • Pre-production: The preparatory work before the rehearsal and build process begins.
  • Production: The rehearsal and build process through opening performance.
  • Performance: The run of the production in front of an audience.

Typically, credits will be awarded as follows:

  • Participation in one stage of the design & production process = 1 credit
  • Participation in two stages of the design & production process = 2 credits
  • Participation in three stages of the design & production process = 3 credits

Credits listed are the fewest a student can earn in a given semester.

#Fabric Dyeing 1 & 2 (CFA TH 381 & 382) is offered in rotation with Millinery 1 & 2 (CFA TH 481 & 482). Fabric Dyeing is offered in even academic years (i.e., AY 20, 22). Millinery is offered in odd academic years (i.e., AY 19, 21).

History of Costume (CFA TH 255 & 256) is offered in rotation with Intro to Textiles (CFA TH 282). History of Costume is offered in even academic years (i.e., AY 20, 22). Intro to Textiles is offered in odd academic years (i.e., AY 19, 21).

*Students select Costume Production, Directing, Drama Literature, Theatre History, and Approved electives in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Courses from which a student may select include but are not limited to:

Costume Production

  • CFA TH 379 Costume Production 3: Modern Tailoring
  • CFA TH 380 Costume Production 4: Modern Tailoring
  • CFA TH 479 Costume Production 5: Advanced Draping–19th Century
  • CFA TH 480 Costume Production 6: Advanced Draping–20th Century
  • CFA TH 357 Costume Production 7: Historical Tailoring
  • CFA TH 358 Costume Production 8: Ladies’ Tailoring

Directing

  • CFA TH 240 Beginning Directing
  • CFA TH 453 Undergraduate Masterclass
  • CFA TH 454 Undergraduate Masterclass

Drama Literature

  • CFA TH 201 Dramatic Literature: 1850–1950
  • CFA TH 202 Dramatic Literature: 1950–1990
  • CFA TH 402 Contemporary Dramatic Literature: 1990–Present
  • CAS EN 355 Modern Drama 1
  • CAS EN 356 Modern Drama 2
  • CAS EN 363 Shakespeare 1
  • CAS EN 364 Shakespeare 2
  • CAS LR 355 Chekhov: The Stories & Plays (in English Translation)

Theatre History

  • CFA TH 355 History of Period Styles 1
  • CFA TH 356 History of Period Styles 2
  • CFA TH 455 History of Period Styles 3
  • CFA TH 456 History of Period Styles 4
  • CFA TH 555 History of Theatre 1
  • CFA TH 556 History of Theatre 2

Approved Elective

Students select courses totaling 4 credits (typically two courses) offered by Boston University in consultation with their faculty advisor.

Students electing to take courses to fulfill their Costume Production, Directing, Drama Literature, Theatre History, and Approved electives that are not listed above require the approval of their faculty advisor.

± Total credits per semester vary according to the courses selected. Credits listed are the fewest a student could earn. All BFA–Theatre students with a Costume Design major must earn at least 130 credits to graduate.