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I am very upset with the article "Local Stages Showcase Talented Pool of Actors" (Jan. 2). There is no mention of costumes! There is a category for projections (which to me is a subcategory of sets and/or lighting). It seems that costumes have nothing to do with a production. They don't help to tell or move the story line, establish a time period for the story or help actors get into character. It leads me to assume that the actors provide their own clothing or go on stage naked.
I am not saying that there has to be a best or top costume designer of the year. I do believe that costumes are one of the main categories in reviewing a production and that it should be mentioned as much as the categories for director, actors, sets and lighting.
Yes, I do work with costumes at Carnegie Mellon University. I also was the assistant costume designer to costume designer Pei-Chi Su on several Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre productions this past season. That is why I am very passionate about this. A lot is mentioned about the actors, directors and scenery of PICT shows, but hardly a peep about costumes. That is why I am upset with the article. It reflects to me what critics see as important for a good production. Are the costumes so good that you don't even notice them on stage?
I have also noticed in reviews over the past year, volumes have been written about actors, directors and sets for a particular production and maybe half a sentence about costumes or the name of the costume designer. A good production includes costumes and so should a well-written review.
Carnegie Mellon University
Editor's note: The costumes category was inadvertently omitted. The category has been added to the story at post-gazette.com/ae/theater-dance/.
First Published January 4, 2013 12:00 am