About the Archive
The Costume Archive is just part of the costume collection at Williams College. The costumes in Theatrical archive in these pages have been designed and produced at the college for over twenty years with the help of professional costumers, drapers and students in the Theatre Department. This selection from the archive is intended as a digital resource of garments to facilitate an understanding of interpretation, design and particular research, which in turn become a three-dimensional costume for the stage. I hope you find these costumes instructive and useful.
About Costumes at Williams
There are many ways to study costuming at Williams College, both formally and informally. Majors and non-majors are equally welcomed in these endeavors.
Courses: THEA 305 is an introductory costume design course where we study the fundamentals of design. This course is open to all students at Williams. Advanced courses are offered as needed.
Costume Shop: There is opportunity to learn hands-on costuming skills in the Costume Shop. There are work-study costume assistant positions available and volunteers are always welcome. You can learn draping, pattern making, sewing on both industrial and domestic machines. There are special opportunities for special projects like dyeing and mask making. The costumes shop produces all the costumes for the Theatre Department’s main stage productions, so the projects can move from modern dress to fantasy to the 18th century—all depending on which shows the Theatre Department is producing in a particular year.
Production Running Crew: There are also running crew positions where you can help dress actors, assist with quick changes, be a make-up artist, and maintain the costumes, wigs, and accessories for a particular production. The Theatre Department usually produces four major productions per school year, and has positions for the crews of all these shows. Running crews are also needed for the Guest Artist Series, which brings in companies from around the world for performances at Williams College.
Design Assistants: Each Theatre Department production has a design assistant position available. This is where you help the Costume Designer on all aspects of the production, from design meetings, shopping, assisting in the shop, and attending dress rehearsals of a particular show. There are usually four positions available each year, two per semester.
Students of varied backgrounds, interests, talents and enthusiasm are all welcomed. Eagerness, dependably, and a willingness to learn are the most important factors for participation in Costumes. Experience is helpful, but training and teaching are always the priority at Williams.
Best to you all,
Deborah A Brothers
Costume Director and Lecturer in Theatre
About the Designer
Deborah A. Brothers, Costume Director, has been the Costume Designer and Lecturer in Theatre at Williams College since 1985. She holds a M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and a B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She has designed theatre and dance costumes for a variety of venues, including regional theatres, small experimental companies and universities. Her costume designs have been in productions aboard at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at the Jerash International Arts Festival in Jordan. She has received the Bay Area Theatre Critics Award and Dramalogue Award for her costume designs at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She has also produced a video project about the parading and costuming traditions called “Four Episodes from a New Orleans Mardi Gras”.
The WIT group, Delicious with Milk, was in charge of creating this database. We endured many tireless hours of skillfully manipulating dress forms, faulty card readers, HTML, CSS, and other acronyms in order to bring you this deceptively mysterious costume website. Thanks for watching.