Project 5

Your favorite literary work is being adapted into a film! After your tremendous success with your design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a big Hollywood producer approached you to assist in the production design for a book-to-film adaptation. For the preliminary meetings with the director, they’ve asked you to come up with costume designs and style boards for 3 characters, as well as 1 set, and 2 props.

For the meeting (critique) please bring in 3 completed (in color) drawings of costumes for characters from the book, a complete (color) drawing of a set, and complete (color) drawings for 2 props.


Critique guidelines



  1. Because some of us might not be familiar with the story, please give us a brief (3-5 sentences) background/summary to the story. (For example, The Great Gatsby is a story told from the point of view of Nick, a young man who moves to Long Island. He meets Gatsby, a newly rich man who throws lavish parties trying to find and impress Daisy, the rich girl he fell in love with when he was poor. The book makes a lot of commentary on rich and poor, and the roaring 20s. Daisy decides that she wants to stay with her husband instead of marry Gatsby. Gatsby ultimately is chasing an impossible dream and nobody really ends up happy at the end.)
  2. Let us know which characters, scenes and props you are designing….who are they? What role do they play in the book/play?
  3. Share any challenges/anything new or different things you learned while working on this project.
  4. What inspired you to make each costume/set? Was there a mood? Reference Image? Etc.

Reviewers, you are the play’s producers. What do you think of the design? Be sure to say at least 1 positive and 1 improvement for each of your classmates presenting. Things to consider:

1. How do the designs match the concept? If the designer’s idea was to make a spooky (mood) production set in today’s New York City…do the costumes and sets convey spookiness? Do they seem as if they’d fit in today’s New York City? In other words, are the successful in executing the artist’s intent?

2. What do you think is unique? Cool? Nice? Beautiful? Successful? Creative? Etc. about this design, and WHY ***** The why is super important. It’s great to hear “It’s nice” Or “I like it!” But being more specific is even better because it helps us to grow and to really understand how you feel about the work.

  • ••••••••Every student/group must present. Every student must “review” at least once.

Examples: Costume Designs from The Great Gatsby




Theatrical Design: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Project (Project 4)

Congratulations! You’ve been hired to design costumes for a new production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which will be performed this summer in New York City. The director and producers are in the middle of casting the actors, and are excited to begin rehearsals…they are looking for you to bring three (3) completed designs for costumes (in color), as well as an (1) illustration of one of the sets from the play. These drawing are to be completed within the next two weeks.

Click here for summary/text of play

Nobles from Athens:
Duke Theseus: Duke of Athens, he is about to marry Hippolyta.
Hippolyta: About to marry Duke Theseus.
Egeus: Nobleman, father of Hermia. He wants Hermia to marry Demetrius.
Hermia: Daughter of Egeus, Hermia wants to marry LysanderHermia is shorter than Helena, and often described as having a “darker” complexion.
Lysander: Young man who loves Hermia and wants to marry her.
Demetrius: Young man who used to love Helena, now he wants to marry Hermia, despite the fact that she doesn’t love him.
HelenaHermia’s friend. Helena is in love with Demetrius, utterly love-sick. She is taller than Hermia and is described as having a “lighter” complexion.

Townspeople (the craftsmen from Athens trying to put on a play…they’re not good)
Nick Bottom: (weaver) Bottom is to play Pyramus (the guy) in the play they’re trying to put on for Duke Theseus‘s wedding…Puck turns his head into the head of a donkey (an ass). There are tons of puns throughout the play about “bottoms” “donkeys” etc. He’s not very bright, though he thinks he is. He constantly makes a fool “ass” of himself.
Peter Quince: (carpenter) he plays the narrator/prologue in the play they put on.
Francis Flute: (bellows maker) to play Thisbe (the girl) in the play. He’s a manly looking man, with a beard, and has to speak his lines in an exaggerated, squeaky voice.
Robin Starveling: (the tailor) ends up playing the part of “moonshine”…he holds a lantern.
Tom Snout: (the tinker) plays the wall, dividing the two lovers.
Snug: (the joiner) plays the lion…he’s constantly afraid that his “convincing” roaring will frighten the ladies in the audience.

The fairies
Oberon: King of the fairies. Husband of Titania. They’re fighting. He decides to prank her.
Titania: Queen of the fairies. Wife of Oberon. They’re fighting.
Robin Goodfellow…aka Puck: a mischievous fairy who loves playing pranks, especially on mortals. Puck is a helper of Oberon.
Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote, and Mustardseed are fairies that make up Titania’s entourage.

Locations: This takes place in Athens and in the Woods Surrounding Athens.

Play Text/Summary

Images from past productions:

Project 3

Working individually or in groups of 2, select a work (book/novel, film, television show, play, etc.) and set it in a different place. So for example, what if Tangled took place in Mexico, or if Beauty and the Beast were set in China? Research the clothing and costume from the time and place you’ve selected, and create a culturally-accurate (non-stereotypical nor appropriating costume) each from that specific setting for 1 or 2 characters. 

When presenting, be sure to show an image of the original character costume, introduce your character, show reference images from the culture and time you’ve selected and talk about your redesign.

Example images:

From Lettherebedoodles Race-bend Disney Princesses: Snow White (Spanish), Cinderella (Japanese), Belle (Arab), Aurora (Jamaican), 


Ariel (Indian), Tiana (Chinese), Mulan (Native American), Pocahontas (Pacific Islander),


Jasmine (African/Luo),  Meg (Egyptian), Kida (Maori), Jane (Korean),


Eilonwy (African/Fula), Esmerelda (Moroccan),


Merida (Brazilian), Rapunzel (Mexican), Elsa (Inuit), Anna (Inuit).


Project 2

Working in groups of 2,  select a work (book/novel, film, television show, play, etc.) and select a historical time period to re-imagine the story. Research that time period thoroughly, and each member of your group will design a historically accurate costume for one or two of the characters based on the historical period you’ve selected. Use laptops for references and research.

When presenting your design to the class, be sure to introduce the character/s, show images of the original character’s costume design, discuss the choice you made for the time period, and show examples of the references you used to design the costumes.

Sample images:

Contemporary Disney Princesses


Disney Princesses dressed in the clothing of the year their movie was released:


Disney Princesses in 1960s clothing:


Project 1 Guidelines

Select a character in a film, tv show, play or musical (live action) research their “bio” and get a general understanding of their role in the story. Look closely at the costume that was designed for your character. Why do you think these choices were made? How would you do this differently?

Create a redesigned version of your character’s costume. What choices will you make? Consider style, colors, textures/patterns, materials (Velvet? Cotton? Denim? Leather?)

You will present your drawings to your classmates for feedback, when you’re presenting, be sure to show us an image of the original costume, be ready to introduce us to your character by giving a brief description of the character, and talk about why you made the choices you did. If you’d like to bring up other reference images, you can.


Images to follow.