Mark’s had a passion for design ever since he was introduced to it in high school fashion classes. However, it wasn’t until he was able to apply his passions to his education at the University of Waterloo that he was able to discover the full extent of what was available to him within these interests. Mark, a student of the Honours Arts and Business program, has combined design interests within his theatre and performance major with a background understanding of business. He’s created a specialized program for himself, full of hands-on experience, networking opportunities, career experience, and personal design development.
“I’ve had the opportunity to explore a few different careers with co-op. I’ve done some terms doing graphic design. For one co-op term I had the opportunity to go to a theatre in Toronto. I got to observe how a wardrobe department operates in the professional industry, which is actually quite close to how we do it at Waterloo. It was a really great experience to explore what it is like as a business.”
“The program starts out by giving you a thorough knowledge base in all the different areas and gives you an appreciation of where everyone is coming from in theatre but also, in your later years, it allows you to specialize in areas that you’re interested in. I’ve done a lot of costumes myself, but you can also build experience in areas like dramaturgy, lighting, and stage management.”
Mark has been able to delve into areas such as lighting, performance, and sound. That’s allowed him to see how all the different elements come together to work cohesively in a show. Ultimately, he’s found his calling in costume design, exploring all of the different roles available to him there.
“I started out sewing on the wardrobe crew for my first show here and that was a really enjoyable experience. After that I applied to be the head of wardrobe the next year, and in my last year, that built up to the opportunity to design the costumes.” (See his webpage for a look into all of his designs).
In addition to the designs that he does outside of school, this year, Mark was credited with all of the designs for the Drama and Speech Communication department’s production of Unity (1918), a story that tells the struggle of what happens when a deadly virus arrives in a town in the middle of Saskatchewan that was thought to be safe from an epidemic devastating populations elsewhere.
“My biggest accomplishment would be doing costume design for this show. It gave me an opportunity to do something that I’ve always wanted to do and build on the experience that I’ve had in wardrobe up to this point. Because I’ve been able to see wardrobe from all the different perspectives, like sewing on the crew and organizing as the head of wardrobe, it was really fun to dive into costume design and make creative decisions in the process.”
Mark plans to use his resume full of graphic and costume design to work in the theatre industry. He also sees himself as a life-long learner who will continue to develop and grow throughout his career.
Visit the Faculty of Arts website or visit the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate admissions site.