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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance

MFA in Costume Design and Technology | Core Faculty

Our Costume faculty are unique in their approach to active learning, working alongside students in the classroom as well as within the production setting. The idea of leading by example is central to the overall teaching philosophy of our professors and instructors, helping students put together the highest quality design portfolio possible. Our faculty also maintain design careers outside the university, and often utilize professional contacts to assist students in starting their own careers.

Valerie Pruett
Senior Instructor
Hair and Make-up Design

Valerie has been working as a professional hair and makeup artist for over fourteen years. Before returning to the University of South Carolina ten years ago, she free-lanced and designed for regional theatres across the country, including: Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, New American Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, American Folklore Theatre and the Madison Repertory Theatre. Valerie also worked as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to teaching and designing at Theatre SC, Valerie maintains an active professional career as a Hair and Make-up artist in the tri-state areas with film and media productions. She firmly believes that a successful portrayal of any character must include the complete visual transformation of that character in order to have a true balance and silhouette.



Kelly Renko-Clarkson
Instructor, Costume Design
Costume Shop Supervisor

Mrs. Renko-Clarkson received her MFA in Costume Technology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her costuming credits include; Playmakers Repertory Company, Sante Fe Opera, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Additionally, she has spent the last three years working as an adjunct professor and staff draper for the University of South Carolina, where she received her BA in theatre. Kelly will supervise the costume shop, assist with patternmaking and construction of costumes, in addition to teaching courses in costume construction. Kelly believes that the quality and completeness of a well-made costume brings a sense of life and dimension to a character, enhancing the overall experience of live theatre. Outside of the costume shop and the university, Kelly enjoys social outings and adventure with friends, her husband and their two “kids” (Ezio, the dog and Selena, the cat).