Description provided by the program

Emerson is the only comprehensive college or university in the country dedicated exclusively to communication and the arts. It is located in downtown Boston, at the gateway to the Theatre District and within close proximity to major media outlets. The College also has facilities in Los Angeles and the Netherlands. The Department of Performing Arts offers undergraduate and graduate programs under the guidance of a professionally active faculty. Undergraduate programs introduce students to the collaborative arts of theater within their historical and cultural contexts. Studio and production work are central to all undergraduate concentrations and are integrated into the large context of a liberal arts education. The graduate program is designed for students seeking to pursue careers at the intersection of theater and education. Many graduates have become teachers or counselors while others have worked as playwrights, directors and producers.

Areas of Focus

  • Costume Design
  • Fashion History
  • Dress Codes
  • Makeup for Theatre and Film
  • Costume Construction/Pattern making
  • Costume Crafts
  • Soft goods (Props-tumes)
  • Costume Maintenance (Wardrobe)
  • Recycling (Costume Stock)

Degrees Offered

  • BFA: Design/Technology (Performing Arts Department) with concentration in Costume Design


  • Mary Harkins: Associate Professor, Head of Design-Tech. 20th Century Dress Codes, History of Fashion and D.
  • Mary Ellen Adams: Associate Professor and Assistant Chair. Costume Crafts (Mask making, Millinery and Puppetry), Makeup Design for Theater and Makeup Design for Film..
  • Guest Artists: Designers and technicians from the Huntington Theater, ART and many other Theater Organizations in New England and New York, teaching small group workshops and specialty classes..


  • Richelle Devereaux Murray: Costume Shop Supervisor: manages the Costume Shop operations, crew labor and craft room projects
  • Debra Krasa: Costume Shop Business Manager: manages shop business operations and supervises costume stock rentals.
  • Laurie Bramhall: Cutter and Draper
  • Brian Choinski: Wardrobe Supervisor

General Contact Information

Mary Harkins
120 Boylston Street St.
Boston, MA 02116
FAX 617-824-8799
Admissions 617-824-8500 Call to ask for catalogues and application forms.

E-mail contacts