Costume | Wig | Makeup

Available online learning 


Only you can turn the stage from a dark, silent floor to a dazzling scene. But if you can't find the right costume, prop or setpiece, microphone or lights — how will you do it? You don't want to make or buy everything again. In this session, you will see the benefits of creating an inventory of all your properties. This presentation will help you learn what you need, write a plan, set a budget, create a shopping list and timeline for starting your inventory project. Whether you have thousands of costumes, hundreds of pieces of sound equipment, a warehouse of furniture or the world's large gobo collection — creating and maintaining an inventory will help you.



Presenter: Margaret Messick is the owner and database designer for Costume Inventory Resources. She has been designing database applications for over 30 years and has had a love of sewing since her teens. In 2010, she combined these interests to create the Theatre Inventory Database. Now with customers in 26 countries and over 800 installations of her software she has helped hundreds of theatres and schools manage their inventory.


A-Alley, BB-Broadway & Bournemouth, Sea...attle. An exploration of different costume shop management styles, sizes, and genres: Broadway, opera/ballet, regional, and international. Listen to long-time industry costume shop managers discuss and compare notes with each other on their shop management successes and innovations.



Presenter: Sally Ann Parsons is a costume designer and costume technologist. She is a member of USA Local 829, and her costume designs are featured in the book American Dance Festival written by Jack Anderson and her technical work is featured in Unbuttoned: The Art and Artists of Theatrical Costume Design written by Shura Pollatsek. In 1980, she founded Parsons–Meares, Ltd. In Chelsea, NYC with her husband James Meares, and together they became a legend in the industry. Working first out of an abandoned school building, the business would grow into one of the premiere costume shops in New York City. Since her husband’s passing in 2008, Sally has been the sole proprietor, continuing to employ over 60 dressmakers, craftsmen and artists. The list of productions that have gone through Parsons–Meares is long, varied, and distinguished. Seventeen Tony award-winning costume designs were created at Parsons–Meares in addition to circus, opera and dance costumes.


Freelance designers and individual artists have unique proximity to the heartbeat of the theatre field. They work at numerous venues each season, in many cases over multiple years and multiple visits, thus experiencing a variety of institutional cultures first hand. However, unlike Actors Equity, there are no industry-wide standards for engaging freelance artists. How can institutions incorporate the learning and experience of the freelance artists they hire more deeply into their organization’s fabric, acknowledging the invaluable nature of their vantage point? Especially during this time when the entire field is on a forced pause. In this session, we explore how guest artists are welcomed and valued by the institutions that invite them through their doors. We will discuss implementing industry-wide standards, creating sustainable feedback loops, recommended best practices sourced from the community at large, and how we can move forward as a community.




Porsche McGovern is a lighting designer. She designed Skeleton Crew and We Are Proud to Present... (Playmakers Repertory Company), A Single Shard (People's Light and Theatre Company), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). In New York, she designed Mothers (Playwrights Realm), Bureau of Missing Persons (Neighborhood Productions), Ghetto Babylon (Dramatic Question Theatre), many shows with Spookfish Theatre Company, among others. She has an MFA from California Institute for the Arts and a BA from St. Lawrence University. She is also a researcher, concentrating on designers in regional theatres.

Deb Sivigny: As a costume and scenic designer, Deb Sivigny has worked on over thirty world premieres with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Theater J, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, Imagination Stage, The Source Festival, Young Playwrights Theatre, The Hub, Studio Theatre 2nd Stage, and Rorschach Theatre where she has been a company member since 2006. She has also designed for Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Everyman Theatre, Signature Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Rep Stage, Adventure Theatre, Shakespeare Theater’s Academy for Classical Acting, 1stStage, Keegan Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Opera Vivente, WSC Avant Bard, Flying V, DC and Seattle Fringe Festivals, Peridance, Dance Elixir and Tia Nina, among others. She is a member of the second generation of The Welders, where she served as Lead Producing Playwright for her work Hello, My Name Is… Set in a house, she designed and created environments that channeled the lives of Korean adoptees.

David Bengali is a projection and lighting designer based in New York. He has designed theater, opera, and dance Off-Broadway, Regionally, and internationally, and has worked as an associate designer on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regionally. Recent design credits include: The Great Leap (Atlantic Theater Company); Van Gogh’s Ear (Ensemble for the Romantic Century - Drama Desk Nomination); Frankenstein (Dallas Theater Center); Rockin' Road To Dublin (National Tour); Assembled Identity (HERE); Uncommon Sense (Tectonic Theater Project); The Temple Bombing (Alliance Theatre); Conference of the Birds (Boston Center for the Arts); SPILL (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Anna Akhmatova (ERC/BAM), Jules Verne From The Earth To The Moon (ERC/BAM); Ring of Fire (Endstation Theatre); The Tempest (Classic Stage Company/The Young Company); Kill Me Like You Mean It (Stolen Chair); Two Point Oh (59E59); I Forgive You Ronald Reagan, The Sensational Josephine Baker (Theatre Row); The Orion Experience (XL).

Katherine Freer is a multimedia designer working in theater, installation, and film. Frequent collaborations include Liz Leman, Ping Chong, Ty Defoe, Carl Cofield, Tim Bond Kamilah Forbes, Talvin Wilks, Andrew Scoville, and Tamilla Woodard. Recent designs: Ajijaak on Turtle Island (New Victory, dir. Ty Defoe and Heather Henson), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature Theater, dir. Kamilah Forbes), the Convent (ArtNY, dir. Daniel Talbott), Antigone (Richard Rogers Amphitheater, dir. Carl Cofield), Cellular Songs (BAM Harvey, by Meredith Monk), Next to Normal (Syracuse Stage, dir. Bob Hupp), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Syracuse Stage, dir. Risa Brainin). Katherine is a proud member of USA829 and Wingspace Theatrical Design.


Gene Flaharty, Makeup Artist/Instructor, covers some safety applications for makeup prep, show techniques for applying makeup in a class using zoom and remote learning tools, as well as illustrates the use of worksheets for design. Suggestions will be shared for making aging easy using the "Gene Technique," a concept the instructor developed and has taught for many years.



Presenter: Gene Flaharty, Makeup Artist/Instructor, has been doing professional makeup for TV, Film, print, and theatre for over 38 years. He enjoys teaching at a local college and doing makeup on celebrities like Martin Short, Dee Wallace Stone, and David Ogden Stiers. He has designed over 200 different theater productions. He enjoys makeup education as he does lecture/demonstrations across the country in his full-time position as Education, Theatrical Retail Specialist/Makeup Artist for Mehron Inc in New York. He has designed characters for Haunted Houses for theme packs across the country, worked on national and regional tours of Cats, Addams Family, Spamalot, Kinky Boots, and Shrek. Gene has been published with articles “Stretching Your Makeup”, “How Safe is Your Makeup”, and “How to Start Your First Makeup Kit.”