Costume Faculty

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 students.

Calarts seeks to employ faculty who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking. 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 opportunity employer. 


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 decisions 

● 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 


  • An MFA in design or a related field, or commensurate professional experience. 

  • 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:

Please provide: 

  • 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. 


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 talented, 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.