University of Waterloo

Head of Wardrobe & Costume Design

Requisition ID
Job Category
Communication Arts
Job Status
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range
$61,166 - $76,458


This position encompasses two related functions: Head of Wardrobe and Costume Designer both dedicated to the Theatre and Performance Program, and is responsible for the design and execution of all costumes for department-mounted productions and for the management of the wardrobe facilities and wardrobe-related equipment. The incumbent teaches and oversees students working in the wardrobe department.


Earliest hire date is August 24th, 2020.


The Head of Wardrobe position is responsible to deliver the designer’s vision in the execution of all costumes in all details, with the assistance of students assigned to the wardrobe department and for the management of the wardrobe facilities and wardrobe-related equipment

  • Pull and alter costumes from the department stock
  • Borrow, rent or buy all costume items not in stock
  • Co-ordinate buying trips for costume pieces and accessories, as well as fabrics and supplies for costume construction
  • Draft patterns as required for period/modern or other costume pieces
  • Cut and sew and/or oversee the construction of costumes by students; fitting and overseeing alterations to all costumes being used
  • Provides specialty makeup for aging, wounds or other special effects
  • Provides facial hair and/or wigs and demonstrates to actors and students how they are applied and maintained
  • Attend Run for Lights, Tech Run and all dress rehearsals to complete the costumes to the designer and director’s satisfaction
  • Deliver all finished costumes for tech dress, dress rehearsals and performances
  • Responsible for the ongoing maintenance of costumes and accessories used in a production
  • Responsible for dry cleaning, returning rented/borrowed costumes and returning costumes to stock
  • Reconcile P-card and petty cash related to the purchased items mentioned above

Provides instructional support to students in wardrobe management and construction for Theatre and Performance courses as required, under the general pedagogical oversight of the relevant course instructors

  • Provides oversight and coordination of introductory and intermediate-level student work in wardrobe management particularly for students assigned to this area as part of the requirements for production-related courses
  • Provides instruction on the production process as it relates to wardrobe including fitting procedures, wardrobe running crew and organizational paperwork
  • Demonstrates sewing techniques and construction; painting, dyeing and breakdown techniques
  • Coordinates wardrobe related tutorials in application of makeup, special effects makeup, facial hair, hair styling, wig application and period customs as relates to each production
  • Mentor advanced student work as Head of Wardrobe/Head of Hair and Makeup particularly for students assigned to third and fourth year courses

Manages rental services for the costume department on campus and outside rentals

  • Meet with clients internal and external to the University to determine rental requirements; book appointments to pull stock; catalogue costume items that go out and returns
  • Ensures the ongoing maintenance, storage and improvement of the department costume stock, this includes, laundry, repairs, replenishing supplies and upkeep of the storage spaces

As Costume Designer, this position is responsible for the concept and design of all aspects of costumes for two to three department-mounted theatre productions each year

  • Meet with creative team consisting of the Director, Set, Lighting, Video and Sound designers to develop and define a design approach to the play
  • Analyzes each script for costume/wardrobe needs
  • Conducts research into all aspects of the selected period as it pertains to the costumes
  • Produces costume drawings or rendering of each costume sufficient to express the total idea in detail for the Director, the actor involved, and the students responsible for the execution of the garments
  • Coordinates the acquisition or creation of all elements for each costume, including but not limited to garments, wigs, footwear, hats, headgear, as well as female and male accessories as required
  • Plans, sources and provides research for specialty makeup for aging, wounds, or other special effects as required by the design
  • Attends sufficient rehearsals to understand the demand and scope of the costume requirements; Run for Lights, Tech Run, all dress rehearsals where costumes are being used, to oversee the completion of all aspects of all costumes to their and the director’s satisfaction

Provides instructional support to students in costume design for THPERF courses as required, under the general pedagogical oversight of the relevant course instructors

  • Provides overview of costume design elements to introductory and intermediate-level particularly for students assigned to this area as part of the requirements for production-related courses
  • Outline the costume design tools and costume stock available to students
  • Mentor advanced student work as Costume Designer/Associate Costume Designer particularly for students assigned to fourth year courses


  • BA in Fine Arts, Drama, Theatre or Performing Arts; College diploma in Theatre Production or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in theatre production in professional theatres including design and wardrobe experience
  • Ability to manage a range of activities and demands on a day to day basis- split focus
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Must be a self-starter
  • Ability to work with a variety of personalities on a daily basis
  • Strong knowledge of domestic and industrial sewing machines, industrial iron, serger
  • Strong knowledge of construction of garments, pattern drafting is an asset
  • Knowledge and experience with the use of facial hair and/or wigs is an asset
  • Strong organizational skills
  • MSWord - Intermediate; Excel - Intermediate; Power Point - Basic
  • A car will be required to fulfill these duties
  • Role requires some physical demands and incumbent must have ability to lift 50 lbs
  • Some work outside of regular hours is required
  • Some unavoidable exposure to dirt or dust, and other chemicals, and equipment, some of which may be hazardous


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