The Hollywood Reporter Names Costume Design Program Top 10 in Nation



According to The Hollywood Reporter, which released its annual list last week. The program has been in the Top 10 since the list began in 2018.

The UNCSA program has been cited for its on-the-job training, comprehensive education, and diversity of course offerings and for its active alumni group which includes Paul Tazewell, BFA recipient and UNCSA board member , nominated for the 2022 Oscars for Best Costume Design for Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) consulted with educators and industry professionals for its annual list of America’s Top 10 Costume Design Schools.

“The fact that UNCSA continues to be #1 in major trade publications is a testament to our exceptional faculty and their continued focus on making our program relevant to today’s arts and entertainment industry,” said Chancellor Brian Cole. “The article also highlights that our tuition represents significant value compared to similar programs.”

Costume Design and Technology Program Co-Director Bill Brewer is quoted in the article describing the program’s offerings: “Our program trains designers through structured academic courses in a wide range of genres, including Shakespeare, opera, film and television.”

The article cites the “various classes of the program, including digital costume rendering, portraiture, textiles, millinery, and 3D printing, essential core skills to keep up with an ever-changing cinematic environment.”

Program alumna Michelle Pflug is highlighted in the article as another example of the program’s success. Pflug is the costume coordinator for the popular HBOMax series “The Gilded Age,” as well as the Oscar-nominated film “West Side Story.” She earned a BFA in 2016.

Michael Kelley, Dean of the School of Design and Production and himself an alumnus of the Stage Design program, said, “It is truly an honor to be recognized by your peers in the field of education. arts and industry. I am very proud of our costume program and the incredible faculty members across D&P, who continue to make a pronounced difference in the lives of talented UNCSA students on their journey to becoming practicing professional artists.

The article also features a photo of a character from UNCSA Fletcher Opera Institute’s 2016 opera “The Italian Straw Hat” in a costume by design and production graduate Clare Parker.

Clare Parker’s costume design for “The Italian Straw Hat”. / Photo: Peter Muller

D&P offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in 16 distinct areas of theater design and production, including undergraduate costume design and technology (combined) and graduate costume design and technology.

In addition to Brewer – who has designed for theatre, ballet, opera, film and television, both nationally and internationally – the current costume design and technology faculty includes Pam Knourek, co-director , who has more than 20 seasons with the Santa Fe Opera, seven years with The Guthrie Theater and numerous film and television credits; alumnus Michael Sharpe, who worked on Broadway productions such as ‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Wicked’, film productions such as ‘First Wives Club’ and ‘Kate & Leopold’, and television productions such as “Smash” and “Jessica Jones”; and alumnus and assistant dean Kjersten Lester-Moratzka, who teaches costume technology and has experience as principal draper for the Santa Fe Opera and as freelance draper for Metropolitan Opera and Broadway productions .

Other costume program alumni at UNCSA include Kristen Mendez, costume coordinator, “The Good Fight” (CBS); Bee Gable, costume illustrator for costume designer Toni-Leslie James, “Rustin” (Netflix); Christine Field, assistant costume designer for “West Side Story”; and Stef Maus, assistant designer, “Invasion” (Apple TV) and costume designer, “Madam Secretary” (CBS), among many others. Third-year graduate student Diana Haberstick (MFA ’22) is the costume designer for “Into the Wild Frontier” (INSP TV).

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