USITT Forum@Four: Costume Shop Management ABBCs

A-Alley, BB-Broadway & Bournemouth, Sea...attle. An exploration of different costume shop management styles, sizes, and genres: Broadway, opera/ballet, regional, and international. Listen to long-time industry costume shop managers discuss and compare notes with each other on their shop management successes and innovations.



Go Live Information
Go Live Date:
April 21, 2020
Speaker Information

Sally Ann Parsons is a costume designer and costume technologist. She is a member of USA Local 829, and her costume designs are featured in the book American Dance Festival written by Jack Anderson and her technical work is featured in Unbuttoned: The Art and Artists of Theatrical Costume Design written by Shura Pollatsek. In 1980, she founded Parsons–Meares, Ltd. In Chelsea, NYC with her husband James Meares, and together they became a legend in the industry. Working first out of an abandoned school building, the business would grow into one of the premiere costume shops in New York City. Since her husband’s passing in 2008, Sally has been the sole proprietor, continuing to employ over 60 dressmakers, craftsmen and artists. The list of productions that have gone through Parsons–Meares is long, varied, and distinguished. Seventeen Tony award-winning costume designs were created at Parsons–Meares in addition to circus, opera and dance costumes.



Susan I. Davis is the costume director at Seattle Opera, a position she has held since 2002. Her costume technology background brought her to Seattle Opera, where she was lead cutter/draper for six years. She is the co-founder (with Becky Kaufman) of Period Corsets® by Kaufman-Davis Studio Inc, a retail-line of historic-inspired undergarments designed and constructed for use in a performance setting. They ran the business for 17 years, before selling in 2014. Susan has presented at USITT and other places on topics such as managing and operating a small business, draping, and tailoring.


Kathleen Donnelly received her MFA in Design from Northwestern University. Since 1995, she has been the Costume Designer/Faculty at UW Oshkosh. She is currently serving as the Co Vice Commissioner of Expo, Exhibits and Experience for the USITT Costume Commission. In the past she has served as Chair of the USITT Midwest Regional Section, and is the Immediate Past Chair of Design, Technology and Management for KCACTF Region III.

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USITT Forum@Four: Costume Shop Management ABBCs
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