Illinois State University

The Costume Survey

Description provided by the program

ISU offers the opportunity to study under three full-time costumers giving graduate students the benefit of multiple diverse methodologies and aesthetic sensibilities. It also allows the program to offer a broad range of specialized courses. Graduate students enroll in a flexible curriculum tailored to the individual students' needs. Courses are available in Theatrical Costume design, History and Styles of Stage Costuming, Seminars in Costume History, Rendering, Draping, Flat-patterning, Tailoring and multiple Costume Craft areas, in addition to other courses designed to enhance research methodologies and theoretical foundations. Study outside the School of Theatre may include art courses in textiles, water color, jewelry making, and figure drawing. Extensive design opportunities are available for student designers within the mainstage and studio season with opportunities to design for Shakespeare, Dance, Opera, Musical, Realism and other genres. Tuition waivers and assistantships are available in exchange for shop hours and teaching experiences. Professional practice is encouraged with the opportunity to work with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and various professional Chicago theatres.

Areas of Focus

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Crafts

Degrees Offered

  • MFA: Design with an emphasis in costumes


  • Lauren Lowell: Associate Professor, Head of Costume Design, Costume Design, Costume History. Web: Lauren Lowell:


  • Kari Beth Rust: Costume Shop Supervisor, Instructor in Costume Technology
  • Wendy Wallace: Crafts Supervisor
  • Also: Four Graduate Assistants

General Contact Information

Lauren M. Lowell, Head of Graduate Costume Design
School of Theatre, Campus Box 5700
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-5700

E-mail contacts