Welcome To ATCA
American Theatrical Costume Association
Costume designers & technicians, like dentists, are practitioners who work in the real (non-academic) world. USA and USITT (United Scenic Artists and United States Institute of Theatre Technology) are organizations that support this industry focus part of our craft. Costume designers, like historians, are also scholars who teach as a part of their scholarship (including publishing and museum work). CSA (Costume Society of America) is an organization that focuses on dress scholarship, which is an important part – but not the only aspect – of costume research.
The goal of the American Theatrical Costume Association (ATCA) is to fill a gap in our professional organizations, and connect a community of costume educators, focusing on the dual responsibilities of teaching and research. This scholarship includes (but is not limited to) professional design & technical work, and this organization is an opportunity to push the boundaries of what costume scholarship looks like.
For far too long, educational theater has taken its cues from industry best-practices. Recent events have demonstrated that it is actually educational spaces and academic practitioners that are ideally suited to lead in this moment: we have the multidisciplinary theoretical tools to guide conversations around best-practices, utilize these practices in our creative work, and then send our graduates out to the profession with these new perspectives and methods. It is time for educational institutions to take this charge and model what the industry should become.
Thank you for building this community!