The Costume Supervisor’s Toolkit : Supervising Theatre Costume Production from First Meeting to Final Performance book cover
1st Edition

The Costume Supervisor’s Toolkit
Supervising Theatre Costume Production from First Meeting to Final Performance

ISBN 9781138182585
Published July 27, 2018 by Routledge
192 Pages 50 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

The Costume Supervisor’s Toolkit explores the responsibilities of a Costume Supervisor within a theatrical, opera or dance production company. Rebecca Pride provides an insight into all manner of processes, beginning with a definition of the role, and offers explanations of the timeline from the first design meetings, leading all the way up to managing fittings and final rehearsals. This how-to guide outlines best working practices, including building a team and creating a Costume Bible, whilst also providing helpful resources such as sizing guides, a list of useful addresses, and case studies from renowned theatrical organizations.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword by Carol Lingwood


List of contributors:


The Costume Supervisor as Facilitator

Structure of the Book

Chapter 1 What does a Costume Supervisor do?

The Theatre Team Structure

Defining the Role

Chapter 2 Different Types and Genres of Production

Large Scale Production of a Classic Twentieth Century Play

Challenges Presented to the Costume Supervisor

Modern British Musical Pantomime in a Large Provincial Theatre

Challenges Presented to the Costume Supervisor

Student Faculty Production of a Restoration Comedy in a Site Responsive Venue

Challenges Presented to the Costume Supervisor

Chapter 3 Developing Good Communication Skills

Getting Hired

First Design Meeting with Director, Designer and Production manager


Chapter 4 Setting Up Your Team


Costume Roles and Responsibilities

Setting up the Finance and Cash Flow for Your Production

Chapter 5 Budgeting

Creating a Costing Sheet

Estimating Fabric Quantities

Accessing Cash for Shopping Expeditions

Receipt Management

Purchase Orders

Chapter 6 First Rehearsal and creating the Costume Bible

First Rehearsal

Taking Accurate Measurements and Etiquette Rules to be Observed When Measuring Actors

Recording Information in the Costume Bible

Chapter 7 Sourcing: Construct, Hire or Buy?

Costume Hire Stores


Chapter 8 Managing the Rehearsal Process


Creating a Calm Fitting Space

Chapter 9 Pre- tech rehearsal

Tech Week

Working with the Running Wardrobe Team

Epilogue: Final Thoughts


Appendix 1 Fabric Identification Guide

Appendix 2 The Costume Supervisor’s Contract

Appendix 3 Gender Specific Measurement Forms

Table Appendix.3.1 [Male Measurement Form]

Table Appendix.3.2 [Female Measurement Form]

Appendix 4 Sizing Guides

Table Appendix.4.1 [Male Suit Size Guide]

Table Appendix.4.2 [Female Size Guide]

Table Appendix.4.3[Shoe size Guide]

Table Appendix.4.4 [Glove size Guide]

Appendix 5 Basic Excel Instructions



Production Credits:

Glossary of Terms:

Useful Addresses:


List of Illustrations with Figure Captions, Cases, Illustrations, or Tables

Authors Biography

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Rebecca Pride is Course Leader for the award-winning BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design course at the Arts University Bournemouth. She spent 15 years prior to her career as an academic, working as a costume and set designer in the professional theatre. Her work at the Arts University has included producing numerous costume-led film projects, including Wimbledon Championships 1936-1937, Storytelling from an original point of view, Glass slippers, La Passarella, Reverie, Vampyr and Moulin Rouge.


Pride’s research and development of the book is not only exceptionally thorough, but accurate and relevant to the role of costume supervisor. As a practical guide, the book takes a detailed, logical approach to exploring and clarifying the role of the costume supervisor in the theatrical costume production process. By using a methodology based on comprehensive interviews with working practitioners, Pride has ensured that the information presented is based on the experiences of working practitioners at the top of their profession.

-Corinne Heskett, Studies in Costume & Performance, Volume 5 Number 2, 2020