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Meet Our Professors: Wendy Sanders, Theatre Arts

Wendy Sanders found her love for costume design early in her life. She sees this field as a problem to solve and with many possible solutions. In the nine years she’s been with SUU, she’s been able to work closely with her colleagues and see the results of her work with the students, from thread to stage.


Title

Associate Professor of Theatre, Costume Design

Department

Theatre and Dance

How long have you been working at SUU?

9 years

Where did you grow up?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Where did you attend college and what did you study?

-Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre & Design at the University of Utah

-Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Education/Secondary Certification at Utah State University

-Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design & Technology; Costume at Ohio State University and Brigham Young University

Where did you work before coming to SUU?

I worked at Louisiana State University, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, American Repertory Theatre, and also Skyline High School as a drama teacher.

When and how did you decide what you wanted your career to be?

I became interested in costuming while completing requirements for a Girl Scout merit badge when I was 14. However, I did not decide to make this a career choice until my junior year in high school while taking college courses in theatre at the University of Utah.

What do you feel is the most interesting thing about your field?

Every script or original piece I work through, as a costume designer, is a problem to solve. As a collaborative team and/or individual designer, we find that each production may have many possible solutions. However, it is the journey and the struggle to find the best solution that is the most interesting, because EVERY journey is different.

Favorite thing to teach about your subject?

Costume/Fashion History & the History of Modes and Manners.

Why do you love your field?

Theatre or live performance art is created for a short period of time, for a select “community” (the audience) and then it is gone. You are transcended to a different “world” and get to be audience to a character’s story. If you were not present, you do not get to experience it — it is a moment in time, but at the close of a curtain, it is over, struck, and stored away.

What has been your proudest moment working at SUU?

The concept and design for our department’s production of Godspell.

What is one thing you wish to tell every student in your class?

As a student, learning is your job! Attending college is a wonderful privilege that not all people are afforded. Take this time in your life to soak up every experience, new idea, or information presented — be sponge to the content, instructors you have and your peers. Learn from everything and everyone. Then seek out opportunities to apply what you’ve learned; see it in practice, you’ll learn from that too.