How do I get into costume for theatre?

Majella would like help getting into costume for theatre

I am interested in a change of career from Arts event manager with a theatre to working in costume and wardrobe, again in theatre. I have worked as a costumer maker in the past, approx 5 years in total but changed to admin and events management. (My training was in Foundation Arts specialising in Costume and then costume maker with professional and community theatre groups).

I have been bitten by the costume 'bug' again following my assisting as costumer on two recent musical theatre productions and enjoyed this very much. My question then is - would you know of any apprenticeships I might apply for, in Northern Ireland preferably? What would be my best way into a career in theatre costume? My theatre does not produce shows.

Many thanks

— Majella Flanagan

Expert answers

Kate Unwin's reply:


I don't know about any apprenticeships in Northern Ireland I'm afraid. I would contact all the producing theatres within reasonable distance to you and those you want to work with. Contact them every six months with new images and details of what you've been working on. Maybe contact designers as well and do some assisting? What would be helpful is building up your portifolio so apply for costume design jobs. Lots of people want new and emerging (i.e. cheaper unfortunately) designers to work with. Volunteer for stuff, make stuff. get a good portfolio togther and apply for everything you possibly can. People will start to notice you! Hope that helps.

All best, Kate

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