Technical Production - Costume & Make Up

For this skill you will need to create a series of drawings/materials/measurements/inspiration/colour choices. These choices should also be justified. This is really research towards your final design that should contain as many different elements of research as possible.

You need a minimum of two final designs (costume and make-up) in performance. There should be two actors/performers (or two examples) wearing the costume and make-up design during performance. You can make the costume yourself (hand-made) or assemble it from different items. You must apply the make-up.

Creativity: Costume/make-up should be fully explored and final designs should be part of a considered, thoughtful process with an understanding of how the design impacts and contributes to the performance overall.

Collaborative skills: You should be part of the whole process and understand the importance of your role in the bigger picture. You need to be able to work with others; compromise, and your performance / design should make a telling contribution to the overall piece.


To be successful

Advice or tips to help you


· Preparing a series of drawings

· Ensure that the costume fits with the concept for the piece

· Discuss with the director/group what type of costume and make-up they need. Ask them to be as specific as possible as this helsp you with your research.

· Include drawings to show development of ideas

· Continue to refine your design - even if you are hiring the costumes you still need to draw, together with an explanation.

· Create an original design, rather than copying from the internet

· The internet is great as a starting point - so Photoshop away - use ideas from lots of different areas and create your own design.


· Creating 2 final design concepts

· Ensure that you have more than one design

· With only one design there is no room for negotiation. Different designs can give the group/director a clear vision into your design. This will help with the creative idea for the performance.

· Be willing to compromise on the design

· Remember when you design that these need to be made or found. You might not be able to get the costume you designed and you must 'see' it in performance. During your presentation, a good idea maybe would to show the two drawings and then ask the actor to be involved in showing finished article.

· Make sure that they are colour drawings to really add to the concept of the designs

· Using colour can bring your drawing to life! It also will show the group and in your presentation that you have created a costume and make-up design of this specific performance.


· Applying make-up

· Ensure make-up is applied neatly

· Messy make-up will not look good on stage. The make-up needs to fit the needs of the piece. If you are doing a naturalistic piece, then you need to explain how you are making the performer look natural. If you are creating expressive make-up, again you need to explain why.

· Practise applying the make-up more than once before the performance itself

· Only applying it once will cause stress on the day of the performance. Most performers sweat on stage - what will happen to your make-up?

· Ensure that no one in your group is allergic to make-up

· Try tester areas on the performers' skin. Is the make-up you are using hypo allergenic? Do you need to use face paints? If so, check they come off and with what. You can put all this information into your presentation.


· Creating the costume

· Make sure the costume fits

· If you are creating the costume from nothing, keep checking that it fits throughout the process, and that the performer can wear it in their performance. A dancer needs to move. An actor needs to feel confident

· Make sure that clothes bought in charity shops are clean

· Charity shops are great as starting points. Get your basic costume and then add to it; this will show how creative you can be.

· Try not to limit your creativity by putting clothes together from what you have at home

· Some costumes you might be able to put together from things that the group have - but that does not help you be creative. Think about adapting what you already have to show your creativity.


· Using different types of make-up effects

· Avoid using the wrong make-up as it can detract from a performance

· A performance always has a sense of continuity. You need to make sure that the style of make-up that you design matches the whole piece.

· Apply make-up appropriately as thick make-up can look fake on stage

· Look at the effect your make-up has when under theatre lights. Do you need to add more? This information can help your project and presentation as it shows that you have worked with the group to create this work.

· Reflect different time periods and styles which require a different approach to the application of the make-up

· If the performance is based in a certain time period, then look at the type of looks they had at the time.


· Measuring correctly

· Ensure you measure correctly to avoid producing an ill-fitting costume

· If a costume doesn't fit, it looks awful on stage. The performer needs to feel as confident as possible.

· Check that the costume is the correct length

· Keep checking that the costume fits. The wrong length can make a performer feel uncomfortable or even make them trip. Are they wearing shoes? Does it have a heel? Do they have to move a lot to be expressive? Answering all these questions can ensure that not only the costume fits but that you have information to give in your presentation.

· Find out the correct way to measure a costume

· If the measurements are not correct, you might create/buy/find the wrong stuff. Download the costume-measuring sheet.


· Researching into the style of the piece

· Ensure your costume and make-up have the same feel and look of the performance piece

· Use the internet to research the style of costume and make-up and devise a mood board.

· Make sure you know the style

· Use your knowledge as a starting point. Your action plan will help you to really focus on the needs of your garment and the style of the make-up.

· Look at more than one example to give you a clear understanding of the task

· Your research should spark creative ideas. Keep an ideas log and snaps. This will again help you with your presentation.


· Trying out the costume in performance

· Ensure you have a rehearsal in full costume and make-up

· You must produce a short presentation to camera to explain your design concepts

· The mark you get for Performance is in your final design product.

· Make sure that the performer can wear your costume. Keep trying it on. You must make sure that your work is ready days before the performance.

· Do your presentation on PowerPoint. This will give you a structure and you can add pictures of the process to show a real sense of journey.

· Take time to ensure that the costume and make-up are as good as they can possibly be for the final performance.