Makeup for the Stage

Course Description: 

The study and application of visual aesthetic in theatrical makeup, including the fundamentals of stage makeup, character makeup, corrective techniques, and three-dimensional makeup. 

Course Learning Objectives: 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the art of theatrical makeup.  This course will be taught through lectures, and demonstrations followed by student applications of techniques demonstrated.  Students will learn the application of basic makeup techniques, aging and some special effects.

 Students will:

1. Create a notebook called a “morgue” which will contain class notes, makeup plots and pictures of completed makeup and a picture file for makeup reference. 

 2. Attend, perform, or participate in all NSA theatre productions. 

 3. Write a 2-3 page production critique on each NSA production viewed. The due dates and format for these papers will be discussed in class.

 4.  Demonstrate their proficiency of makeup design and application.  Therefore, class attendance and participation is imperative.

 Course Format: 

Lectures, demonstrations, Guest Artist presentations, and class participation.


Method Of Evaluation

This course will be taught through lectures, and demonstrations followed by student applications of techniques demonstrated.  Attendance, notebooks, participation as well as the competence in the execution of the various makeup techniques determine grades. 



Ben Nye Makeup kit

Old Button-down shirt (to protect school clothes)

Container for makeup kit

Daily Facial cleanser or facial cleansing wipes (Clearasil, Purpose, etc.)

1 container of cold cream

A Small bottle of Astringent (or witch hazel)

Small bottle of Facial moisturizer


Hand towel

2 packages of Makeup wedges

Old toothbrush- for graying application


Headband or clips to keep your hair out of the way

1 box of baby wipes

1 package of cotton squares

1 small pencil sharpener (to be used for eye liner pencils)

Clear sheet protectors (at least 10) 

$75 for Class Supplies (used to purchase students’ makeup kits and other makeup supplies - e.g. liquid latex, brush cleaner, etc.)

Class Supplies:

  • Spray Cleaner (last name that starts with A through H)
  • 2 rolls of Paper Towels (last name that starts with I through M)
  • 1 box of Kleenex (last name that starts with N through Q)
  • 1 package of small Styrofoam cups (last name that starts with R through Z)

 Please note:  All supplies should be labeled with your last name and must be left in the classroom for daily use.  Mrs. Kindall will lock up supplies daily.

 *All supplies are due by Friday, August 26th.

  Makeup Morgue Guidelines:

Purpose:  A makeup morgue is a collection of various images that are available to you anytime you are doing makeup.  There should be a wide range of images within each category, so that you can have immediate resources for any type of makeup you may do.  These images should cover a variety of emotions, skin types, races, men and women, and facial structures.  There should be a good mix of black/white & color images.

Format: a 1” 3-ring binder with 4 clearly divided sections and a typed Title Page (listing Course Title, 2011-2012 School Year, Nashville School of the Arts, Student’s Name)

The dividers should labeled:

  • Syllabus/Calendars
  • Notes / Quizzes
  • Image Bank
  • Plot Worksheets (makeup design worksheets) – file grade sheets under this divider

 Specific instructions regarding your morgue contents will be given throughout the course.

Attendance Policy for Performances

 It is imperative that every theatre student experiences live theatre.  That is why attendance at NSA theatre productions is a requirement of the theatre curriculum.  Every NSA production is discussed and critiqued in class, therefore you, as the student, must experience the productions for yourself. 

 You are required to attend every theatre production throughout the school year.  Dates and times of these performances are provided on your class calendar.  If you are unable to attend a production, you must clear your absence with Mrs. Kindall.  Only excused absences will receive an alternative assignment. 

 Throughout the school year, there will be opportunities to attend other performances in Nashville.  When the class plans to attend as a group, I will send home an advance notice of the performance and a permission slip to be signed.  As a part of this course, I expect every student to make every effort to attend these performance opportunities.