University of Hawaii, Manoa

The Costume Survey

Description provided by the program

The costume design program at University of Hawaii, Manoa, provides maximum hands-on experience in both design and technology. During their residency, MFA candidate designers have the opportunity to design 5 realized productions in their concentration, working with both student and faculty directors. Additional design opportunities in secondary areas are also abundant. Beginning with their first semester, our student designers are taught communication and collaboration skills, and how to work with directors, choreographers, and traditional practitioners from Asia. Our active production program includes a remarkably broad range of styles and performance modes, including: Modern and Traditional Dance forms, Theatre for Young Audiences, Classical and Modern Western Theatre, Theatre of Oceania, and both Traditional and Modern Asian Theatre. Costuming for dance is a strong component of the program, with 3 dance concerts produced each academic year. While working on the annual Asian Theatre productions, students learn from respected international guest artists who are noted experts in their particular genre. Over a 4-year period of time, Asian productions rotate through the traditional forms of China (Jingju), Japan (Kabuki, Noh or Kyogen) and Indonesia (Randai or Wayang Kulit). Theatre of Hawai’i and Oceania are also an exciting part of the performance rotation. The individual graduate course of study is tailored to the student's needs and goals, and may include course work in: draping, tailoring, costume crafts, millinery, crafts and dressing related to Asian Theatre forms, and advanced costume design. UHM boasts an active Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising, and the Academy of Creative Media (film/television), through which additional course work and practical design projects are possible. The Department's active relationship with professional and community theatre companies in the Honolulu area provides opportunities for design work outside of the university setting. Students are also encouraged to pursue professional internships during the summer months. Costume design and technology study at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa offers an unrivaled variety of experiences, across many diverse cultures and performance disciplines.

Areas of Focus

  • Costume Design and Technology
  • Asian Theatre Production Techniques

Degrees Offered

  • MFA: Design with emphasis in Costume Design


  • Hannah Schauer: Costume Shop Manager

General Contact Information

Cheri Vasek
Department of Theatre & Dance
University of Hawaii
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

E-mail contacts