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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.

Spencer Henderson
Senior Instructor
Costume Technology

M. Spencer Henderson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received an MFA in Costume Shop Management and Costume Technology. He received his BA in theatre from Florida State University. His costuming credits include Playmakers Repertory Company, The Utah Shakespearean Festival, and Glimmerglass Opera.  Recently, he spent the  three summers (‘09-’11) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival as the Costume Shop Manager. Spencer supervises the USC costume shop, assists with the patternmaking and construction of costumes, and teaches costume construction classes.

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.