Courses and Activites

The department of theatre offers courses in scenography, (which includes costume design,) costume technology, stage makeup and costume history. The department’s active production program is curricular and promotes collaborative projects involving students, faculty, staff and guest artists. Qualified students may design costumes for black box and Diamond theatre productions. At the end of spring semester the department holds an annual portfolio review that is open to all students. Students may apply to design by submitting work to the portfolio review or by scheduling an individual appointment with the design faculty. Empowering student artists is a shared value among those administering the curriculum. We expect students to exert leadership and accept positions of responsibility as they mature.

Lehigh University’s department of theatre webpage

The Mustard and Cheese Drama Society exists to promote theatre on Lehigh University’s campus. You be eligible for membership once you have completed two semesters of activity in the production program.

Employment Opportunities and Information

Student Artist

This is an honorary title given to students who have a developing relationship with the department of theatre and are interested in pursuing continued collaboration. Student Artists have demonstrated skill and desire in their work within department of theater classes, labs and volunteering. This is the department's way of rewarding diligent students who wish to stay on and assist on productions. An honorarium is paid to these students per semester to recognize their contributions to our program. There is no hourly limit to the stipend. Student Artists may be asked to assist in various areas as needed through production.

Costume Stock Manager

The Costume Stock Manager is a work-study position that is responsible to maintain the costume storage of thousands of individual garments, countless shoes and accessories. The primary duty is the organization and maintenance of costume storage. The stock manager will assist with pulling and returns for Lehigh University productions and outside rentals, help to arrange costume sales when planned, and undertake special organization projects when time allows.

The person fulfilling this position must be willing to familiarize themselves with the entire stock and location of each garment in order to best facilitate the above tasks. The position requires knowledge of the various names, types, styles and periods of garments and items, which can be learned by research and instruction.

Costume Shop Assistant

Work study position. Hours dependent on schedule and work study allotment. Starting wage at level 3 or $7/hour. Basic hand and machine sewing skills mandatory, with other skills such as knitting, embroidery, quilting and other crafts a plus. Costume Shop Assistants are responsible for the construction and alteration of costumes for department of theater productions and general shop maintenance. We teach theatrical costume construction techniques, which differ from home sewing practices. You may be asked to attend workshops covering topics such as patterning, cutting, millinery, fabric painting, dying, distressing, and others.

Wardrobe Assistant/Supervisor

Work study or wage position. Hours available dependent on productions needing wardrobe support-- usually nights and weekends. Wage dependent on title and experience. Must have at least a modest sewing ability, as well as be able to take direction. Wardrobe assistants are responsible for the maintenance of costumes during production and performance-- laundry, ironing, minor repairs and the assisting of performers with costume changes before and during performances. This position needs to be filled with someone who can be flexible and think on her/his feet. Some lifting may be involved.


Volunteers are a welcome asset to our costume shop and a wonderful way for us to get to know individuals outside the Department. Volunteers are assigned tasks based on their skills-- from full construction to the finishing of garments with closures, to the production of special trims and appliqués. Volunteers may be called in on an as needed or as available basis.

Basic skills, tools, and processes:

At the beginning of each year or each semester, costume construction students, wardrobe students, lab students and student employees will complete a series of sewing samplers as an introduction to or refresher of basic skills in the costume shop. In some cases to be determined by the costume shop manager, advanced students may complete alternate samplers or projects to refamiliarize themselves with shop machinery. Basic competency is expected on the following series of processes:

All students would be expected to complete these samples:

Machine sewing samplers:

  • machine control – paper testing
  • sew in a circle
  • sew in a square
  • thread the machine
  • wind a bobbin
  • change a needle
  • straight stitch
  • french seam
  • flat feld seam
  • curved seam
  • grade and clip seam allowance
  • turning

These samples are carried out on muslin strips, 8”x4”, premarked with seam allowance and S-curve

  • gathering

This sample is carried out on muslin strips, one 8”x4”, one 16”x4”, premarked with seam allowance

  • serged edge finishing
  • darts (done on premarked 10” muslin square:
  • single dart & double sided dart)

    Hand sewing samples:

  • threading needle & knotting thread
  • basting
  • prick stitch
  • cross stitch
  • whip stitch
  • slip stitch
  • blind hemming stitch
  • button with shank
  • button with thread shank
  • snaps
  • hook and bar
  • hook and eye
  • skirt hook and bar
  • swing tack

The following are advanced samples:

  • iron-on interfacing and button holes
  • blind hemming machine
  • lapped zipper
  • center-placement zipper