Professor/Costume Designer/IATSE



Dorothy Baca (Pictured on left, with Daughter)

I see myself as kind of an anthropologist/historian, using clothing and costuming to help engage the audience in understanding that people have different lives and yet in the end we’re all kind of the same throughout history. I consider myself the keeper of my family’s history and for the importance of what clothing is to a society. Of course family comes into that and what my role is in my own family; as a mother, grandmother, wife, sister, cousin, relationships, all that kind of extended family. I guess that’s the importance of what I do…being connected to people. I grew up in northern New Mexico which is very, very old. I actually realized as I got older that I really grew up in Europe, not in the United States, because it has a very strong sense of history and connection to the earth and a lot of sense of the importance of understanding your history. So, I think that’s kind of the root of where I started to think about clothing and costuming and how people make decisions of what they wore and when they wore it, and all the rules of society that have to do with clothing…

I’m always in the process of getting students to understand how you design; how you think about design, how you problem solve, how you get from your idea to something on stage that actually works, how to encourage creativity but also, getting them to understand that there’s parameters, like how the body moves, what distance does, you know, what the eye can see from a distance, all those technical things…So, to me, it’s just the dream job because I spend 90% of my time in a very creative environment.


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