Set and Costume Design

Dream and create: make your ideas come true


  • A team of professional head carpenters, scenic painters, props makers, cutters, and dressmakers, who assist students with their designs
  • Access to an impressive costume collection containing thousands of pieces and fully-equipped professional set and costume shops at the Monument-National campus, the oldest operating theatre in Canada.
  • Increasing responsibilities throughout the 3-year program, from crew to assistant to designer for multiple productions
  • In the final year, full responsibility for show designs for productions at the Monument-National

3 years of training | 8 students per year


Our training program allows students to dream and create, while also giving them the tools to make their ideas become reality. To this end, we create a synergy between the reflective, creative, and technical aspects of scenographic practice, so that each facet feeds the others.

Costume and set design for theatre, dance, opera, or the circus arts



Fill out the online application form and pay the registration fee before January 31. We’ll be in touch to let you know about the next steps.

You must be at least 18 years old as of December 31 of the year of entry at NTS.


Candidates have one month to complete an artistic project. Instructions are sent after the application deadline.


Candidates who pass this initial step are invited to an interview during which they are asked to present a portfolio of recent art or theatrical work (originals strongly preferred).

An average of 20 student shows are created each year.


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 unique group of artists making up each class. Our training is always anchored in the field, related to the 20 student shows created each year.

See a list of classes

Audit a Class

If you are considering applying to the Set and Costume Design Program, you can watch two classes that were open to applicants and get a glimpse of the training available. 

Please note: those classes were presented online during COVID-19 lockdown. All classes at NTS are taught in person again. 

SCENO Exhibition

SCENO is the annual exhibition of the second-year Set and Costume Design students. It is an immersion into the world of design, in all its forms.

SCENO highlight areas of learning that aren’t immediately visible in the final designs, but are crucial to the designer’s training. 

The collection of creations highlights the fascinating world of design, as taught at NTS through courses on materials and textiles, patina, sewing, makeup, hair styling, drawing, painting, as well as studying the history of clothing, architecture and lighting, and of course, set and costume design.

Visit the online exhibition


Our students are taught and mentored by renowned professional artists.

They share a wealth of theatre experience from across Canada and around the world. NTS has an overall ratio of two instructors per student. Our group of teaching artists varies each year according to student needs.

List of artists who mentor our students

Stéphane Longpré - Director of Set and Costume Design program

"NTS made me who I am today, not only as an artist, but also as a human being. It’s where I discovered theatre. It’s where I met artists involved in their community. It’s where I found purpose. In my view, it’s a training program that is unique in Canada, notably because of its bilingual nature and its social and cultural diversity, all of which brings it an incomparable richness. The imperative of openness to others is, I feel, central to the teaching philosophy at NTS: to be confronted with different perspectives and approaches to feed your identity as an artist and find your own creative path or voice."

Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada (Set and Costume Design, 2002), Stéphane Longpré has worked on over a hundred shows as a scenographer, props designer, and assistant scenographer.

Read the bio

They hired our Set and Costume Design Alumni:

  • Canadian Opera Company
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • Comédie-Française, Paris
  • Dreamworks
  • Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Moment Factory
  • Neptune Theatre
  • Opéra de Paris
  • Shaw Festival
  • Stratford Festival
  • Universal Pictures
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery

A co-lingual program

The Set and Costume Design program is a co-lingual program, i.e., English- and French-speaking students are part of the same group and attend the same classes together. We do not require candidates to be bilingual, but understanding both languages can be an asset.

Teaching artists ensure that each student has access to the same content, or to similar content if the same one is unavailable. Teaching artists ensure every student’s understanding. Every student can express themselves in the language of their choice, as well as do their work and present it in the language of their choice.

While we consider this feature to be an asset, it nonetheless requires students’ patience and understanding.


Read the Frequently Asked Questions


514-842-7954, ext. 134


Learn more about tuition fees, student bursaries, and loans.

Start your application now!

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The National Theatre School: 1 art school, 9 professional training programs