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Stage and screen costume designer joins ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre

The School of Music, Dance and Theatre welcomes new faculty member Kelly Kasper Hawkinson as a clinical assistant professor of costume technology.

Kelly Hawkinson

“We are delighted to have an artist of Kelly Hawkinson’s caliber joining our celebrated costume design program in the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre,” said Heather Landes, director of the school. “She brings a wealth of knowledge that complements our existing faculty and will enhance our offerings.”

Hawkinson has a rich background in costume construction and design, from Broadway to film and television. She has been working as an artist in New York City for over a decade, spending several seasons at a costume shop at the Metropolitan Opera. Her work has been seen in acclaimed stage productions such as “Cinderella” and “The Lion King,” and on screens in “The Greatest Showman,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and more.

Hawkinson said she is thrilled to join the faculty at Arizona State University.

“I went to graduate school with the intention of teaching at the college level,” she said. “I moved to New York in order to improve and refine my skills. I am getting back to my original goal: teaching. For me, helping students achieve their goals is worthwhile and meaningful.”

Hawkinson earned her MFA in costume design and technology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. In addition to her professional work, she has taught costume construction and pattern making at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ undergraduate drama design and production program.

She said she looks forward to working with a performing arts program that offers both students and faculty a lot of opportunities to create.

“I like that the program is very forward thinking in its use of technology,” she said. “I also wanted to find a program with a diverse student population; I believe it makes the classroom more interesting and challenging. I like that students might take what I teach and apply it to their own creative projects outside of the costuming realm.”

With her original intention of becoming someone with a career behind the curtain as a draper, pattern maker or designer, Hawkinson’s expanded work in the film and television industry gives her perspective she hopes to share with students. 

“Film and theater require the same skill sets, but the packaging is a bit different,” she said. “Because of this experience, I want students to be aware of other career paths using costume construction.”

lamacdon@asu.edu