The Society of British Theatre Designers

The Value of Design

Rebecca Louise Coleman

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  • Costume Design / Maker
  • Costume Designer


Costume designer/maker, supervisor & educator

Rebecca has been involved within theatre and the arts from an early age. This passion led her to study a HND in Costume Interpretation for Stage and Screen. At Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (now known as the Arts University of Bournemouth). After completion, she became a freelance costume maker working throughout the UK for several major regional theatres, including the London’s Globe and the Oldham Coliseum.

Accepting a job in 1996 from Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Centre in Loch Sheldrake, New York transformed Rebecca’s career track. Her ten years as the Head of Wardrobe and Head Costume Designer provided opportunities to grow, and in 2001, she moved to America for a job as lead Cutter/Draper for the Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Promoted to Head of Wardrobe and within six months and consistently hired to design shows for the main season.

In 2006, a world-premier show being mounted in Tennessee came calling for Rebecca. Hired as the assistant designer for the show, The Miracle. Working along the side of Konnie Kittrell - head designer - Rebecca designed the 2nd season and ran the wardrobe department for the show for 18 months. In addition to Rebecca’s main theatre work, she has also worked off off Broadway, with regional opera companies and summer rep theatres also collaborating with competitive High School show choirs, gaining award-winning success.

After Twenty years of professional theatre experience, Rebecca decided to go back to Graduate School for an MFA in Theatre (Design & Technology) Specialisation in Costume Design. Because she felt that, she wanted to share what she had learnt and elevate her career to a higher level. During her time at The University of Montana, she designed show's that included Hay Fever, Crazy for You, Putnam County’s 25th Annual Spelling Bee and The Cherry Orchard (which formed part of her thesis project). Scenic design, art history and textiles for costumes were studied and Rebecca has taken these interests into current research. In a particular natural solar, jar dyeing and the use of textbooks in the classroom.

As an educator, Rebecca has taught a wide variety of classes including; Costume Construction, Independent Study in Corsetry, Costume History, Flat Patterning and Drafting, Draping Period Costume for Stage & Screen, Pattern Cutting for beginners, Textiles Manipulation to Stage Makeup. Through specialist workshops, Rebecca has a keen interest in teaching the key skills in wardrobe supervision and collaborative process between designers, directors and actors.

For a full back history and more information, please visit Rebecca’s website.