Curriculum - Set and Costume Design

NTS offers highly individualized training. As such, the curriculum is subject to change, following the latest developments in technology, new artistic practices, and the needs of the specific group of artists making up each class.

Our training is always practical, underpinned by the 20 student shows created each year.

1st year

Students are introduced to the language related to the design of space and costumes. They acquire the tools that will allow them to better design and communicate their ideas. They carry out set and costume design projects, and also collaborate on student productions as members of the hairdressing, make-up, dressing, stage painting, and props teams.

List of Classes

Atmospheric rendering (Photoshop)

Overviewing basic Photoshop software tools and assimilating basic collage techniques. Reviewing how to create and organize a document and to apply various tools while accounting for the interplay of perspectives, materials and light in the context of a set design rendering.

Costume history

Familiarizing oneself with the history of fashion and clothing; line and cut through the different eras.

Costume patina

Using a theoretical and, especially, practical approach to help a costume evolve through dye, basic patina, aging, etc.

Costume rendering

Exploring the various drawing and painting mediums and gaining the ability to choose the most appropriate medium for a project.

Costume technical drawing

Understanding and improving technical drawing concepts for costumes in order to promote better communication with workshop collaborators.

Design exercises (set and costumes)

Going through the design and production steps for a play’s sets and costumes, in collaboration with an invited director.


Understanding how to act backstage to help actors during costume changes and organizing the management of costumes in dressing rooms as well as their maintenance.

Exploration of intuition

Reflection on our relationship with intuition and on the non-narrative relationship between images and words.

Hair and Makeup

These classes aim to give students basic knowledge about hair and makeup so they are better equipped during discussions with various collaborators.

Health and safety

Understanding the basic rules to follow for working in a healthy and safe environment.

History of architecture

Giving future set and costume designers the opportunity to observe the built world in which they operate and to understand its meaning.

Intro to Set and Costume Design

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the scenographic process. Understanding the constraints related to the practice of the profession. Developing a creative process. Understanding the set and costume designer’s analysis tools.

Introduction to lighting

Studying and understanding light through exploration in a workshop setting.

Introduction to sewing

Familiarizing oneself with the use of industrial sewing machines and the basics of cutting for theatre.

Life drawing and colours

Introduction to life drawing; learning to see and observe what is around us, understanding art and its history, and understanding the human body. Acquiring the tools to properly communicate one’s ideas with a director.

Materials – Construction

Presentation of materials currently used in set construction and understanding the environmental impacts linked to the choice of materials.

Materials – Fabrics

Overview of different fabric families, their characteristics and uses.

Model making

Experimenting with the various steps of creating a 3D model for theatre.

Period cutting

Exploring the evolution of the fashion silhouette and cut from the 16th to the 19th century.


Introduction to the production and design of theatre props. Tools, techniques and materials.

Scenic painting

Introduction to scenic painting; faux finishes, techniques and products used.

Exercise ensemble (in collaboration with French section students)

Creating and taking part in a healthy work team with a strong bond, facilitating dialogue, sharing ideas and demonstrating humility. Understanding the various needs leading up to the creation of a show and elaborating on these. Familiarizing oneself with the other theatre disciplines.

Technical drawing (SketchUP)

Introducing and understanding the role of technical drawing in the set design process and of development of set construction methods. Mastering basic computer-aided design tools using SketchUp Pro.

Text analysis

Text as an object to describe and interpret. Finding one’s way as a designer in the text.

2nd year

The 2nd year opens up the horizons of scenography by tackling design for circus, cinema and exhibitions. Students integrate the concepts learned in 1st year through various projects. Additionally, they create and realize their first designs for the public productions of 2nd year students.

List of Classes

Artistic direction for film

Presenting students with the steps and particular features of set and costume design for cinema.


Introduction to tools and construction methods of the scene shop.

Costume design for the circus

The goal of this workshop is to introduce students to the specificities of circus costumes and disciplines and to the constraints of this practice.

Design exercises (set and costume)

Going through the steps of both the design and the production for a play’s set and/or costume design, in collaboration with an invited professional director.

Designing theatre for young audiences

Introduction to the design of theatre set/costumes/puppets for young audiences.

Digital printing on fabric and modern cutting

Creating a piece of costume by using digital printing on fabric and integrating cutting and alteration concepts.

Environmentally responsible design

Environmentally responsible design workshop using SketchUP software.

Exhibition set design

This workshop is an overview of current practices in museum scenography. The design of an exhibit guides the spectator’s movement through the chosen content. The museographical means, from traditional hanging methods to the creation of immersive spaces, help tell a story, popularize a concept or present a different reality.

Life drawing

Continuing drawing practice and further developing this process. Acquiring the tools to properly communicate one’s ideas with a director.


Understanding how to create documentation related to a production’s costume management and the basics of budget development and petty cash management.

Technical drawing 2

Continuing to develop one’s knowledge of technical drawing and the use of SketchUP Pro software to create a complete set of plan.

3rd year

Each student designs the sets or costumes for the graduating class shows of the French and English sections, under the guidance of various professional directors. For each of these productions, the student is individually mentored by a professional designer.

List of Classes

Design and assistant design on public exercises

Construction, cutting and sewing, props, millinery, scenic paint, sets, production meetings, hair and makeup.

Environmental responsibility

Developing one’s consideration of environmental responsibility in set and costume design. Understanding how to find solutions to develop a more responsible practice.

Video design workshop

Design workshop aimed at understanding the interrelationship between video design and set design, and how to approach this topic with other designers.

Note: Curriculum is subject to change, and varies each year according to student needs.

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