Costumes and Make-Up


This section of the website deals with costuming and make-up tips, trick, and techniques. It is great fun to learn about how other groups do things. It seems that the same plays are performed all over the US and around the world – Why re-invent the wheel?

In New Artists Productions we periodically have a workshop about make-up. These are often times conducted by retired professionals in our area, beauticians, Moms who have studied theater in college, etc. Or, the demonstration might be done by a make-up artist associated with a particular show – usually a talented parent. There are always resources for what we need, when we need them. The beauty is that once the kids learn about the techniques, they become our make-up techs for the production. It is amazing how interested everyone becomes, once they are shown how it is done – even the boys in our program apply their own makeup in shows and serve as techs for the younger performers. It is a skill that will serve them throughout their theatrical careers.

These two young actors shared the role of Renfield in our play. Each brought a different personality and movement to the role which made it interesting for the other cast members as they had to adjust to the voice inflections and the antics that each brought. Truly a valuable learning experience for everyone!

Character Transformation through Makeup techniques “We received a video made by the family of the female actor who was transformed into the male character Sherlock Holmes for our Fall 2012 production. The make-up artist (Mother of actress) provides a step-by-step process for the transformation.”

Sherlock Holmes Transformation from New Artists Productions on Vimeo.

Here are some resources for Costuming and Make-up – we have found them invaluable in our operations at New Artists Productions; we hope you find them useful also.

  • Stage Makeup, Step-by-Step, by Rosemarie Swinfield – “… teaches you the professional way to create and apply makeups for all types of theater, film and TV work, including adaptations for differing stage sizes and cast members covering a range of ages and ethnic groups.”
  • Create Your Own STAGE MAKEUP, by Gill Davies – “A new look at makeup for stage, this book will help individual makeup artists and performers, groups and schools to explore the exciting world of creating new faces for stage. … this book makes the art of makeup accessible to all, whether novice or expert.”
  • Broadway Costumes on a Budget, by Janet Litherland and Sue McAnally – ‘Big-Time Ideas for Amateur Producers’
  • Elegantly Frugal Costumes, by Shirley Dearing – ‘The poor man’s do-it-yourself costume maker’s guide.’
  • Stage Costume, Step by Step, by Mary T. Kidd – ‘THE COMPLETE GUIDE to designing and making stage costumes for all major drama periods and genres from classical through the twentieth century.’
  • Costuming Made Easy, by Barb Rogers – ‘How to Make Theatrical Costumes from Cast-off Clothing’
  • Instant Period Costumes, by Barb Rogers – ‘How to Make Classic Costumes from Cast-off Clothing’