Caroline Townsend, PGCert, PGDip, FHEA

Job title

Senior Lecturer, Crafts Costume Construction Course Leader, and BA (Hons) Theatre Practice 1st Year Leader


I am a costume maker of both Women’s and Menswear and I am passionate about crafts and making, especially for performance. I studied costume making at Wimbledon School of Art from 1976 to 1978, and was an industry consultant when it became a BA Hons course. I have taught Costume Construction at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama since 1998.

Before coming into education originally I worked for English National Opera in both the Ladies and Men’s making wardrobe. I then moved on to work as a freelance costume maker mostly making costumes for West End musicals as well as some film and TV work. As the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Theatre Practice my wish is to share my personal theatre practice experience with all the specialist courses on the Programme and to encourage students and graduates to apply their understanding of the rigour of traditional performance to contemporary and innovative work as well as more mainstream practice.

Since becoming Programme Leader in 2009, I have been interested in Widening Participation, working actively to explore how the course can recruit students from a more diverse area. As such, I have engaged in meetings and workshops with FE colleges across the country to introduce the subject to a wider audience. Over the last two years I have been involved in delivering workshops and seminars and leading presentations for City and Guilds Linking London Programme, encouraging BTEC students to apply for practical theatre-making courses. I have also been a consultant on the Technical Baccalaureate in Art and Design launched last September.

Teaching Areas

  • Pattern Cutting
  • Period and contemporary womenswear
  • Men’s tailoring
  • Tutorials and seminars on Academic requirements of the course

I teach on BA (Hons) Theatre Practice, Costume construction and all 12 courses on the programme.

Areas of Expertise

  • History of tailoring
  • The current development of the role of the costume constructor
  • Widening participation and diversity in student recruitment


Dip. HE Costume Making Wimbledon School of Art

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Costume work includes the following:

2014. Charity Pantomime for NSPCC Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean

2014. Costume maker, Peter Pan, Bloomsbury Theatre (designer Vivienne Westwood)

2014. Costume maker, Captain Hook, Bloomsbury Theatre (designer Piers Atkinson)

2014. Costume maker, Acolyte and High Priestess, Bloomsbury Theatre (designer Jenny Bevan)

Consultancy work includes:

2015. ROH, UAL and South Essex College BA (Hons) validation panel BA (Hons) Costume Construction

2013. Plymouth College of Art validation panel BA (Hons) Costume Production and Associated Crafts

2012. Wimbledon College of the Arts re-validation panel BA (Hons) Theatre and Screen courses

PHD Supervision

How does Queer relate to my Costume Design practice? (2nd Supervisor)


Costume Construction, BA

Design for Performance, BA

Performance Arts, BA

Production Lighting, BA

Prop Making, BA

Puppetry: Design and Performance, BA

Scenic Painting for Stage and Screen, BA

Set Construction for Stage and Screen, BA

Stage Management, BA

Technical and Production Management, BA

Lighting Design, BA

Theatre Sound, BA

Research Degrees (PhD)