Information & Responsibilities
The Specialization in Costume Design in the School of Theater seeks applicants
for a full time faculty position beginning in the fall of 2022. The Costume
Specialization is one of eight métiers(specializations) within the
Experience Design and Production Program with a specialized curriculum and a
shared ethos for rigorous practical training, theoretical inquiry,
inclusivity, hands-on production experience, and aesthetic reflection.
The Costume Faculty role is a multi-faceted position consisting of teaching
departmental courses, mentoring both BFA and MFA costume design students in
their professional and artistic goals, and overseeing students' involvement in
theater school productions. We seek a collaborative, curious, and conceptual
critical thinker who is highly engaged in the design community. As a part of a
faculty team that supports the educational mission of the program via a
diversity of aesthetic approaches, Costume Faculty will supervise a variety of
production practices and foster a commitment to collaborative engagement with
faculty and staff within the School of Theater.
The ideal candidate is able to demonstrate proficiency in teaching costume
design, dress history, fashion, and advanced rendering skills. They should
have an interest in developing new, innovative and inclusive curriculum. Given
that our educational approach has historically been viewed through a western
european lens, we seek a candidate with a demonstrated commitment to costume
design that features current anti-racist, anti-colonial and inclusive pedagogy
and practice. We seek a candidate who blurs the boundary between the body,
costume, street wear, jewelry, and fashion. They should explore it within the
context of contemporary art and take it outside its traditional role (as
appropriate to text, period or style). We desire a candidate who values an
expansive visual vocabulary that pushes the boundary of the traditional
presentation of costume design. Significant work is needed to reinvent the
education and training of costume design by active innovation in costume
design curriculum and mentoring students in future-facing design practices,
all of which is expected as a part of this role. Technical knowledge in the
areas of digital software is required, including: Adobe Suite (Photoshop,
InDesign), Microsoft Office Package, and Procreate. Z-Brush, Tilt Brush and
Marvelous Designer knowledge is a plus. We expect an ideal candidate to
possess a wide range of professional contacts and interest in cultivating new
contacts, internships and opportunities for students.
The candidate will also have good standing as a working professional in
theatrical costume design, preferably with experience in the film, television,
commercial, and immersive costume design fields. They will have strong
relationships with working directors and producers in the field and a
commitment to experimental and cutting edge work in experience design.
The Theater School XDP specializations foster experimentation, exploration,
ingenuity, and discipline. We encourage productive failure and provide
sustained support. We value and strive for student success whether the student
is on a crew, working in the shop, or acting as a lead designer on a project.
We expect the Design Faculty to be role models for professional best practices
and welcome working in an inclusive setting with a diverse group of students
who bring their unique and varied backgrounds, aesthetics, race, gender
expression, social identities, age, and capabilities to the table.
Collaborative engagement and open communication with fellow faculty members is
expected in order to uphold a supportive environment between faculty and
The FT Faculty in Costume Design and Head of Costume Design is responsible for
teaching 9-12 credit units per semester, including a rotating selection of
core costume design classes for BFA and MFA levels, BFA Studio Lab classes,
and Special Topic classes. Mentorship of MFA and BFA student designers is an
integral part of this faculty position, as is course development and planning,
involvement in design assignments, attending faculty and production meetings
and recruiting duties on the BFA and MFA levels.
This position works closely with fellow costume faculty, the Costume Shop
Director ,Costume Shop Manager, and School of Theater faculty and staff in the
planning and implementation of costume department business. The position
requires master knowledge of costume design, dress and fashion history,
illustration, a working knowledge of costume construction, script analysis,
and current industry practices. A successful candidate will have excellent
communication skills, as well as a demonstrated interest in respectful
collaboration and teamwork.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
● Class preparation, classroom instruction and grading;
● Mentorship of design students throughout the School of Theater production
process for all MFA-directed, guest-directed, and CalArts CNP productions;
● Providing oversight and development of curriculum for the Costume Design
Specialization in association with the Program Director and the Dean's office;
● Oversight of Costume Design special faculty in association with the Program
Director and Dean's Office;
● MFA and BFA student mentoring;
● Participating in student reviews each semester and providing written
evaluations, mentor reports, and reviews for each of the students;
● Working with Experience Design and Production faculty, Program Director and
the Dean's office to promote and ensure programmatic relevance;
● Attending faculty meetings as needed throughout the year;
● CalArts Committee service
● Recruitment, including application review, interviews and admission
● Maintaining a professional practice.
Responsibilities will also include a relationship to the projects of the
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of
the California Institute of the Arts. These responsibilities would be
determined on a project-by-project basis, but could include functioning in the
role of designer or consultation on design of CNP productions and workshops.
Mentorship of students is the cornerstone of the CalArts School of Theater.
Even though each student is assigned to one specific mentor, it is the
responsibility of the faculty to advise any student in the School of Theater
if they have the knowledge or expertise that the student requires. Costume
faculty will be assigned both BFA and MFA students to mentor
About CalArts School of Theater:
Dedicated to the development of new voices and new forms, the California
Institute of the Arts (CalArts) School of Theater is one of the preeminent
theater training programs in the country. Our goal is to educate the whole
person, preparing fully equipped theater artists to enter and transform the
world. We particularly encourage our students to build professional
experiences and relationships while in school, mining every opportunity for
them to create effective careers after graduation. We value the individuality
of artists and welcome the addition of unique and inventive voices to our
diverse, collaborative community. Central to this mission, The School of
Theater embraces and fosters equity, inclusion, and diversity in all aspects
of its pedagogy, production activity, and recruitment of faculty and
students.As storytellers, we welcome all stories, all forms of storytelling,
and find joy in the process of uncovering new, untold stories, of which there
are many. We are on a collective quest to ‘wear the shoes of the other.' The
CalArts Center for New Performance, the Institute's professional producing
arm, embodies our firm commitment to open exactly such possibilities for
ambitious students. Our educational mission is to forge a community of citizen
artists who are rigorously trained in their respective métiers and who are
able to work effectively and innovatively across a broad spectrum of artistic
settings, media, and technologies.
An MFA in design or a related field, or commensurate professional
A minimum of 3 years of teaching experience, or commensurate mentorship
experience in a professional setting.
An active professional practice which demonstrates excellence and
achievement in the field of costume design and/or related fields.
An active professional practice which demonstrates varied experience in
related fields, such as Live Performance, Immersive and Experimental
Practice, Television, Film, Integrated Media, etc.
Demonstrated knowledge of historical dress and fashion history.
Demonstrated proficiency in research skills, illustration,hand drawing and
digital drawing or image making.
Demonstrated knowledge of traditional costume design skills, including
basic draping, pattern making,alterations, an understanding of fabric,
basic dyeing, ageing, fitting, costume paperwork, and budgeting.
Candidates for this position must legally be able to work in the U.S.
How to Apply
Review of Applications will begin on January 2, 2022. For full consideration
please apply by that date. Please go to this link to apply:
A cover letter that describes your interest in the position, relevant
qualifications, approach to teaching, and a reflection on your potential
to contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment through teaching,
research, and/or service.
A brief proposal for a course that reflects your interests as a
practitioner and teacher (250 words)
A current CV
Links to a Portfolio or Website
Names and contact information for three references
All submissions are confidential.
Equity & Diversity
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) seeks to employ faculty who can
engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic
endeavor and critical thinking. Across the range of practitioners from artists
to scholars and librarians, we welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated
worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring
undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities,
perspectives, social identities and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal
CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through
six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater.
CalArts encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the
many aspects of the arts. It is supported by a distinguished faculty of
practicing artists and provides its Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts students
with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist's growth.
CalArts was founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of
higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in
the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts.