A wardrobe supervisor is responsible for supervising the costume area during dress rehearsals and performances.


  • Responsibility for the costume shop and dressing rooms.
  • Supervision of the wardrobe crew
  • Maintenance of all costumes and clothing worn during dress performance
  • Ensuring actors are properly dressed for every performance
  • Communication with the costume shop manager

Each Evening

  • Open the costume shop (The supervisor will receive a key to the shop from the costume shop manager).
  • Turn on the irons.
  • Check for any notes (a pad will be left on the cutting table if information needs to be shared).
  • Open the dressing room cabinets (The supervisor will receive the combination to the cabinets from the costume shop manager).
  • Make sure there is a costume repair list on each of the dressing room doors.
  • Check washer/dryer/rolling racks for any costumes that have not yet been returned to the cabinets.
  • Supervise inventory. Members of the crew are responsible for the inventory of all costumes. Remind them to take their time and locate each individual item. The purpose of inventory is that lost items can be found prior to the beginning of the performance. 
  • Supervise presets. Any costume item that is needed backstage or on-stage during performance should be put in place. If required, these costumes should be pressed/steamed prior to preset. Actors should be notified and asked to check presets. The supervisor should double check presets prior to the start of the performance.
  • Assign a hall monitor. A member of the crew should be assigned the job of supervising the back hall. Only cast and crew is allowed in the backstage area. Please escort any guests to the front lobby and convey the appropriate message to cast members. This is to insure the safety of everyone involved.
  • Assist any actors with hair/makeup preparations and getting into costume.
  • Notify the stage manager of any problems the crew may be having. Keep the stage manager aware if these problems may prevent the show from beginning on time.
  • Accessorize with any necessary tools for performance (safety pins, bobby pins, flashlight, etc.)
  • Turn off the costume shop radio and turn on the monitor in the shop and dressing rooms.
  • Take the phone in the hall off the hook.
  • Turn off all cell phones.

During the Show

  • The crew is responsible for ensuring that actors are wearing the right costume at the right time. Costumes should be in good repair and free of any lint/hanging threads, etc.
  • The wardrobe crew should be attentive to the show.
  • Dressers should be in place in advance of any quick changes.
  • Members of the crew are encouraged to clean up the costume shop, do any repairs on costume pieces that are not being worn, and make themselves available should anyone need assistance.
  • During down time members of the crew may read, do homework, or any other quiet activity in the shop. They should be able to drop this activity in a moment’s notice should someone be in need of assistance.

After the Show

  • Encourage actors to get out of costumes as quickly as possible.
  • Assign a crew member(s) to clean the backstage/on-stage area of all costume articles.
  • Inventory costumes. This should be done carefully so that any missing items are identified and located.
  • Pull any laundry items. Leave according to prior arrangements made with costume shop.
  • Leave any costume repair notes for the costume shop.
  • Store all costumes (either in cabinets or in shop) and lock cabinets.
  • Secure any cabinets or storage rooms that were used during performance.
  • Turn off the irons.
  • Turn off the lights in the dressing rooms and costume shop (including sewing machines) and lock the shop.
  • Dismiss crew.

Some notes about the shop

  • Students are welcome to use the phone if the call will be quick and local.
  • No one is permitted to use the costume shop manager’s computer.
  • The shop computer can be used only for performance purposes. Checking email, IMing, writing papers, etc. are not considered part of the performance.
  • Anyone who eats in the costume shop should clean up after themselves and dispose of any containers in the hallway. People who work in the shop have no desire to smell leftover pizza at 9:00 the following morning.
  • Anyone using any tools or supplies should clean up after themselves.
  • Students who are not involved with the performance may not be permitted to ‘hang out’ in the shop.
  • Please respect the costume shop; the tools and equipment are here to service the department. They are not easily replaced.


If you have problems with anything in the costume area (the space, the crew, etc.), please share this with the costume shop manager.  Assistance is available to assure a smooth-running performance.