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Home > Costume Categories > Theatre Costume
Theatre Costume

Theatrical costumesTheatrical costumes can exaggerate some aspect of a character. Theatrical costumes, in combination with other aspects, serve to portray characters` age, gender role, profession, social class, personality, and can even reveal information about the historical period/era, geographic location, time of day, as well as the season or weather of the theatrical performance. Sometimes theatrical costumes literally mimic what the costume designer thinks the character would wear if the character actually existed. On the other hand, often-stylized theatrical costumes can exaggerate some aspect of a character.

Theatrical costumes were an innovation Thespis, in Greece in the 6th century BC, and theatrical costumes are still called "the robes of Thespis." Athenians spent lavishly on the production and costumes at the annual drama contests since each poet was given a wealthy citizen, the choregos, who, encouraged by the honour of a separate state impresario`s prize, tended to make the event a demonstration of his spending power.

Costume Designer plays a vital role in designing costume for theatre. In the commercial theater, costume designers have their own design studios and utilize construction shops with managers, cutters, drapers, and stitchers to execute their designs for Broadway musicals or regional productions. Like a costume, it helps an actor reveal character by giving physical clues to personality, age, background, race, health, and environment. In ancient Greek and Asian theater, actors wore masks or used white lead makeup with strong accents of color. In the modern Western Theater, basic makeup that consists of a foundation and color shadings is used to prevent the actor from appearing washed out beneath powerful stage lights.

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