UMKC Theatre Again Named a Top Costume Design Program

Second year in a row, Hollywood Reporter names UMKC to its Top 10 list
Graduate student works on historical costume dress

For the second year in a row, Hollywood Reporter has included UMKC Theatre in its list of Top 10 Costume Design schools.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Lindsay W. Davis, UMKC Theatre professor of costume design. “There have been only two years of the Top 10 list, and it is basically a list of behemoths, giants in university education, and UMKC is among them.”

UMKC Theatre offers a single comprehensive M.F.A. degree in costume design and technology, which has been key to its success. Students learn many skills including drawing, painting, sketching and learning how to construct a garment with techniques in fabric manipulation, millinery, tailoring and pattern drafting.

Doug Enderle was the first M.F.A. costume design graduate from UMKC in 1981. He received an Emmy for his work for The Walt Disney Company at which he was a senior lead costume designer. Other notable alumni include Tom Houchins, costumer on Grey’s Anatomy; and Jonathan Knipscher, lead tailor on The Greatest Showman.

“Running a shop of several tailors, pattern makers and milliners for a large movie like this can be stressful, especially with an ever-evolving schedule," Knipscher said in the Hollywood Reporter write-up about UMKC Theatre. “UMKC taught me to deal creatively with these struggles, be calm and come up with the best solution in the moment.”

UMKC Theatre graduates have worked as costume designers or costume makers at HBO, The Metropolitan Opera, The Los Angeles Opera, on Broadway, London’s West End, the Market Theatre in South Africa, as well as opera companies in Brazil, Italy and throughout the U.S. Regional theaters recent graduates have worked at include Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., The Roundabout Theatre in New York City, The Cleveland Play House and The Old Globe in San Diego. Pheobe Boynton (M.F.A. '08) was costume supervisor on Norwegian and Oceania cruise line, and also designed for the Discovery channel group and YouTube Red.

Published: Feb 25, 2019

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