Reflection on the year

Reflecting on my first year as Chairperson of our Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.

It has been a busy year with many new adventures, problems to solve, ideas to discover and stories to tell. I’ve enjoyed this year and learned a lot. It has been a great opportunity to meet so many new people and learn many new things. I’m grateful and reflect back on this interview which was done at the top of my first year.


January 13 2019

Happy to announce that the 3rd edition of Tan Huaixiang’s book, Character Costume Figure Drawing, has been released and I’ve authored the foreword. This book is a staple of the costume designer’s library. I encourage any costume designer or costumer who finds themselves in a position to design to consider picking this up. You can find the publisher’s page here.

What's new for 2019?

So delighted to share a few of the many wonderful opportunities coming up for 2019! I look forward to working with new and familiar artists, makers and storytellers. Here are a few things coming up for 2019.

  • January 2019: Costume Designs for Giulio Cesare by Handel with Conductor: Gary Thor Wedow, Director: Robin Guarino, Set designer: Allen Moyer.

  • April 2019: Costume Designs for Bernstein’s Mass with Conductor: Constantine Kitsopoulos, Director: Candace Evans, Set Designer: Mark F. Smith

  • PRAGUE!!!! If you are attending the Prague Quadrennial, I’m delighted to say that my costume designs for Florencia en el Amazonas were jury winners and will be featured in the exhibition. (IUJSOM & San Diego Opera under the exquisite direction of Candace Evans) I wish I could attend but will be opening Candide with my good friends Michael Shell & Steven C. Kemp at Des Moines Metro Opera.

  • June 2019: Costume Designs for Candide by Bernstein with Conductor: David Neely, Director Michael Shell & Scenic Designer Steven C. Kemp at Des Moines Metro Opera.

  • July 2019: I’m working with my department in producing the Indiana University’s Summer Theatre Company’s 2019 summer season! More on that coming soon!

  • October 2019: Costume Designs for Parsifal by Wagner…More on this exciting endeavor coming soon! I’m very excited for this unique opportunity.

  • Another couple of projects pending for late 2019 and spring 2020 and I’ll share those when I can. In the meantime I’m happily immersed in design research, teaching and in my exciting new role serving a four-year term as Chair of the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance with a stellar group of faculty, staff and students. If you’d like to read more about my work with the department, here is a nice, somewhat personal interview on the 7th and Jordan Blog. Enjoy!


Linda Pisano

costume rendering for Giulio Cesare


Whew!  2017-2018 has been a whirlwind!  But I'm happy to be busy doing what I love to do!  Recent news and upcoming events are listed below!

  1. 2019 will bring a new design of Bernstein's MASS with director Candace Evans as well as a new production of the opera Giulio Cesare with the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
  2. 2018 I was a National Jury Winner in the National Design Expo in Fort Lauderdale.  Look for my designs for Madama Butterfly in the 2018 summer editional of TD&T (Theatre Design and Technology Magazine).  
  3. July 2018 I will be serving a four year term as Chair of the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University.  I'm proud to serve in this capacity and grateful to work with such an outstanding faculty as we educate and train the next generation of artists.
  4. June 30, 2018 I will end my second and final consecutive term as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the United States Institute of Theatre Technology.  Grateful for this opportunity and humbled to serve alongside such stellar leadership.  Thanks USITT!!
  5. In 2018 I've had the pleasure of opening West Side Story with director Michael Shell and scenic designer Steven Kemp and wig designer Gary Arave.   I also had a great time working with my third year graduate student on the IRT 2018 designs for Romeo and Juliet. 
  6. Happy to announce that third-year MFA candidate, Courtney Foxworthy, was the winner of the Zelma Weisfeld Costume Award for the 2018 year.
  7. 2018 summer will also bring another wonderful London Study Abroad program with my terrific IU students and some design work of the Foreigner with director Jonathan Michaelsen and The Putnam County Spelling Bee with director Richard Roland.
  8. Finally, thanks for your patience as I rebuild my website over the 2018 year.
  9. Below is a 2017 publicity shot (courtesy Indiana Repertory Theatre) of James Still's Miranda.  It is found on this link:



Enjoyed a delightful romp with the French opera comedy L'Etoile with the magnificent Alain Gauthier at the helm as director, Tim McMath scenic design, Patrick Mero lighting and Marzio Conti conducting.  Read the review and a small feature article below.


A wonderful year!

It has been a crazy, busy and extremely rewarding year.  After Florencia en el Amazonas opened in November (it will be at San Diego Opera in the spring 2018) I opened Madama Butterfly and then Miranda at Indiana Repertory Theatre.  Miranda is a new play by James Still.  What a rich collaboration that was!  I closed off the spring season with the Music Man.  Now I'm going into Dames at Sea opening June 1st with Urinetown this September and L'Etoile in October.  More in spring 2018 but I'll write about that later. 

What I'd really like to share right now is a wonderful mini-feature created by IU student, Jessica Karl, as a final project.  It is a small documentary about my work.  Please see Jessica's bio below.  We expect to see wonderful things from her as she is incredibly talented!

Jessica Karl is a senior at IU studying English and Political Science. Throughout her time at school, she has been very involved with student media. She has been a columnist for the Indiana Daily Student for three years and enjoys pairing her writing with photos and videos. Specifically, this multimedia story was made for her photojournalism final project, where she was tasked with featuring one individual. After school she will be heading to New York to work as an Opinion Editorial Intern for 



Upcoming Opera Designs

I'm not a frequent poster on my blog which I hope reads more that I'm really, really busy designing and not that I have nothing to share!  Since January 2016 I've enjoyed designing To Kill a Mockingbird at IRT, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson in my IU Theatre Department, Oklahoma! with JSOM and Sense and Sensibility with IFT as well as Florencia (see below).

 Production costume designs currently in progress for the next ten months include Madama Butterfly, a new contemporary dance work by choreographer Liz Shea, Music Man, Miranda (a new play by James Still at IRT) and the opera buffa, L'Etoile! Always a pleasure to design with the Jacobs School of Music.  One of the foremost opera programs in the world, JSOM Opera and Ballet Theatre hosts national and international conductors and stage directors.  This season I'm currently the costume designer for Florencia en el Amazonas with Stage Director/Choreographer Candace Evans.  Please see the short documentary below filmed at our piano tech.  Coming up in November is Madama Butterfly with Stage Director Lesley Koenig and Conductor Arthur Fagen.    


NAME THAT CHARACTER: Below are 'headshots' cropped from my costume renderings.  I've given you the name of one character...can you guess the others from the production titles above? 


Please see my work which was invited to the USA entry into the world design exhibition in Moscow.  It will be traveling to China in 2016.

Latest News & Events

Upcoming projects include:

  • It's been too long since I've updated are some upcoming productions.
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! Opens February 2016 at Indiana Repertory Theatre with Director Janet Allen.
  • OLKAHOMA!  Opens April 2016 with  Gabrielle Barre IU Opera and Ballet Theatre.
  • FLORENCIA! Opens October 2016 with Candace Evans 2016 at IU Opera and Ballet Theatre.
  • Deadman Walking THE OPERA!  Opening October 2015 with director Jose Maria Condemi at IU Opera Theatre. 
  • As You Like It opening this summer, July 2015 at the Indiana Festival Theatre with Reuben Lucas  scenic designer and Jonathan Michaelsen, director.
  • On Golden Pond opening April 2015 at Indiana Repertory Theatre under the direction of Artistic Director, Janet Allen.
  • South Pacific opens at the Jacobs School of Music in March of 2015 with Vince Liotta.
  • Solome at Opera San Antonio opening January 2015.  Director Candace Evans with Patricia Racette in the leading role.
  • Composer P.Q. Phan's world premier opera Tale of Lady Thi Kinh opening in February 2014 at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music Opera Theatre, directed by Vince Liotta with scenic designer Erhard Rom at and conductor David Effron.
  • La Traviata, opening April 2014 at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music Opera Theatre, directed by Jeffrey Marc Buchman at, scenic designer Cameron Anderson, choreographer Rosa Mercedes and conductor Joseph Rescigno.  
  • Chicago, the musical, opening October at Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama 2013 under the direction of George Pinney.
  • Look for upcoming designs with IFT, Indiana Festival Theatre in the summer of 2014.

USITT 2015

The USITT annual conference in Cincinnati was a great success.  Fantastic keynote speaker and distinguished achievement award winners.  Congratulations to Eriko Terao who was selected for the Young Designers Forum and lighting alumn Chris Wood for the Rising Star Award!

Quotes to Inspire


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  Vincent Van Gogh

"Live out of your imagination not your history."  Stephen Covey 

"...they who merely study the masters and not the works of nature are the grandchildren, and not the children, of nature..."  

Leonardo DaVinci from Thoughts on Art and Life