Text Analysis and Research
A costume designer supports a story by accentuating plot, themes, and character through wardrobe. To analyze a story, a designer reads the script three times. The first time is to understand the general feeling of the script from the audience’s perspective. The second reading is to develop an understanding for the characters’ inner thoughts and motivations using the text, subtext, and metaphors. A designer must also determine how a story is framed. The third reading is to plot out any practical challenges and make note of the size of the show.
Improvisation, devised theater, and dance differ from traditional scripts, but the approach is similar. Each story has a theme which costumes can enhance. Themes are found through music, prompts, or developed as a collective group.