Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Zea, Wendi


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OFRyann Willard, for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater, presented on May 1, 2022, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: HOW LUCKY CAN YOU GET? A COSTUME DESIGN THESIS ON LUCKY STIFF MAJOR PROFESSOR: Wendi R. Zea This thesis is a collection of ideas and information exploring the analysis, design, and production process for the costume of Lucky Stiff (book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty). This musical took place in the McLeod Theatre at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on April 21st-24th, 2022. This musical farce examines what it truly means to be lucky and the many ways our lives can be transformed in one moment. This show takes the audience on a murder mystery chase through Monte Carlo and reminds people that real luck often comes in the form of true love. The components of Chapter 1 in this document are the script analysis and selected research that brought to light the different elements that informed the costume design, especially regarding the characters in the show. Also in this chapter are the goals I set for myself regarding the design itself and my development as a designer. Chapter 2 of the thesis details the design process through all the meetings concerning the design and the inception of the costume ideas coming to fruition in the final renderings. In Chapter 3, the production process is discussed through the beginning stages of the costume builds and pulls in the shop through the realization of the show including tech week going into it. The final chapter, Chapter 4, is an evaluation of the design in terms of the goals set in Chapter 1. This evaluation includes both personal reflection as well as critiques from my peers and mentors about the entire process from the early stages of inspiration and research through the final product of the costumes on stage.




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