Karen Brewster

Professor at East Tennessee State University (ETSU)

Karen Brewster earned her MFA in Costume, Make-up, and Mask Design from Michigan State University. Following grad school, Karen began a long and lasting relationship with Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. From the early 1980s to the present, she has designed over 50 shows for Barter including hit musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, and Cabaret. An East Tennessee State University (ETSU) faculty member since 2000, Karen has designed scores of ETSU productions including the Kennedy Center American College Theatre National Finalist production of Hear That Whistle Blow, Erwin Train a Comin’. Professor Brewster is the co-author (with colleague Melissa Shafer) of a popular and widely used textbook in colleges and universities entitled, The Fundamentals of Theatrical Design, A Guide to the Basics of Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design, published by Allworth Press.

ABOUT KAREN

DESIGNER

Karen earned her MFA in Costume, Makeup, and Mask Design from Michigan State University in 1982. After working in numerous theatre companies from Nebraska to Maine, she joined Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia as costume shop supervisor and resident costume designer working full time for them for many years. She still maintains a working relationship with Barter Theatre as a freelance designer and to date has designed well over 50 shows for the company, including her most recent work Southern Fried Nuptials.

AUTHOR

Her first textbook, co-authored with Melissa Shafer, titled Fundamentals of Theatrical Design: A Guide to the Basics of Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design was published by Allworth Press in 2011. Brewster and Shafer are now working on their second book titled Theatrical Genre and Style: A Guide for Designers, Directors, and Performers, also by Allworth Press and due to be published in 2017.

EDUCATOR

Karen Brewster serves the ETSU Department of Communication and Performance as Associate Chair, and the Division of Theatre & Dance as resident costume designer and costume shop supervisor. She teaches courses in Theatrical Design (Basic and Costume), Stagecraft, Stage Makeup and Theatre History. An ETSU faculty member since 2000, Karen has designed scores of ETSU productions including the Kennedy Center American College Theatre National Finalist production of Hear That Whistle Blow, Erwin Train a Comin’.


TEXTBOOK

Fundamentals of Theatrical Design: A Guide to the Basics of Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design

 

Veteran theater designers Karen Brewster and Melissa Shafer have consulted with a broad range of seasoned theater industry professionals to provide an exhaustive guide full of sound advice and insight. With clear examples and hands-on exercises, Fundamentals of Theatrical Design illustrates the way in which the three major areas of theatrical design—scenery, costumes, and lighting—are intrinsically linked. Attractively priced for use as a classroom text, this is a comprehensive resource for all levels of designers and directors.

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WHAT THEY SAID

CONTACT ME

PO Box 70626, Johnson City, TN 37614

(423) 439-5827

brewster@etsu.edu

www.karen-brewster.com