The Costume Department is responsible for creating and overseeing all costume related aspects for each production.

Costume Department
The Department is divided into specific areas: Mens Costume; Ladies Costume; Hats and Jewellery; Dyeing; Footwear & Armoury; Costume Supervision, Wigs and Maintenance Wardrobe. (There is a separate application route for Wigs).

Under the overall management of the Head of Costume are Heads of each of the respective workrooms with descending grades of staff: Cutters, Cutters Assistants, Senior & Skilled Costumiers, First Assistants.

About the placement
Candidates are expected to identify which discipline or which mix of disciplines they would prefer to work in. All placements would be based with the RSC workshops in Stratford. As the nature of Costume work is constantly varied, no guarantees can be given as to specific techniques or skills you will encounter at the time of the placement, but you will be able to gain an accurate view of a busy working Costume Department.

For this placement you will need to:

  • Be a second or third year student in a degree or diploma course which involves one or more of the following - Costume / Tailoring
  • Have above average sewing skills and a basic knowledge of period and modern clothing construction and terminology
  • Be competent in the use of both domestic and industrial sewing machines and overlockers
  • Have relevant millinery / dye / footwear skills as appropriate for the area you are applying for. E.g. good eye for colour, experience at forming felt etc

In addition you must:

  • Display an enthusiasm and initiative for theatre costume
  • Be willing to work as part of a team
  • Have basic knowledge of different stitches and their application
  • Have knowledge of different fastenings. E.g. poppers, hooks & bars, buttons etc
  • Have some experience of domestic and industrial pressing and steaming equipment
  • Have an interest in the properties and character of different fabrics. E.g. silks, wools, velvets, man-made fibres etc

Students will be responsible for their travelling, accommodation and personal expenses.  Owing to the variety of the RSC's production schedule it is not possible to offer all applicants a placement.

Selection process
This selection process has two stages:

• First Stage: As soon as the placement is advertised on the RSC website, applicants are invited to complete an online application form. 20 people will be selected to attend a “Taster Session” with the Costume team. These sessions offer an opportunity for selected applicants to meet the Costume Team in the workshops and observe them in their day-to- day work.

• Second Stage: All Taster Session attendees will then be invited to apply for a longer, more practical work placement (for a minimum of 2 weeks) working amongst our highly skilled teams including Mens' costume, Ladies' costume, Dyeing, Footwear, Armoury, Hats & Jewellery, depending on their particular areas of interest and skill development needs.

Available placement dates
The next placements in the Costume Department will be available in Summer 2013. The placement is currently open to applications through the Current Work Placements page.

 Please note this placement is only available to candidates 18 years of age or over. See our School work experience scheme for under 18s.

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