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

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

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.



Fill out the online application form and pay the registration fee before February 14. 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.

The admission is currently open to applicants from outside Canada. However, at any time during the application process, the program director reserves the right to refuse an application if the health context is deemed too uncertain to accommodate international students.


Candidates have one month to design the set and costumes of a play to be chosen by the admissions committee. 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).

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. 


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.


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; classes in carpentry, sewing, 3D model making and technical drawing amongst others. 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.



2nd Year

The 2nd year opens up the horizons of scenography by tackling circus, cinema and exhibition scenography. Students integrate the concepts learned in 1st year through various projects. Specifically, they create and realize their first designs for the public productions of 2nd year students in Acting and Interpretation (French section).

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. The 3rd year also includes classes in project management, video integration, and career management, as well as meetings with various artists from the theatre and visual arts sectors.

Program code

For bursaries applications, the program code is FPAL.

Institution Code: 749672

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

An average of 20 student shows are created each year.

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


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.

Accompanied by excellence

Micheline Chevrier

Director, artistic director and dramaturge. She has worked at such theatres as The Shaw Festival, the National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage, and many more. She received a Betty Mitchell Award, two Capital Critics Awards, a Dora Mavor Moore Award, and a META.

Pierre-Étienne Locas (Set and Costume Design, 2005)

Pierre-Etienne Locas graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 2005 and designs sets, costumes and props for the stage.
He also teaches and leads various design, computer graphics and artistic installations projects.

Theatre credits include: Caligula (TNM), Dance me (BJM), Le chant de Sainte-Carmen de la main (Spectra), Don Giovanni (Montreal Opera), La délivrance (Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui), Le déclin de l'empire américain (PàP), Yellow Moon (Manufacture), Le Joker (Quat'sous), Trahison (Rideau Vert), The Madonna Painter (Centaur), Le vrai Monde (Duceppe), Fame (JPR), The Droplet (Riks Teatret - Oslo/Norway).

Tamara Marie Kucheran (Set and Costume Design, 2000)

Tamara is a graduate of the University of Victoria (BFA with Distinction) and the National Theatre School of Canada. Tamara has had the privilege of working with some of the world's top theatre professionals on stages across Canada including the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

Recent designs include set and costume for The Color Purple (Neptune Theatre), costume for How He Lied to Her Husband and Man of Destiny (Shaw Festival), set and costume for Salt Baby (The Belfry Theatre), and Cabaret (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). Tamara is a recipient of the prestigious Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design (2017).

Our alumni work with many artistic companies around the globe. Here are a few examples:

  • 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


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