Costumes & Scenery
Learn about the artisans who help transport you to another time and place.
The PBT Costume Shop
Reams of gossamer tulles, textured brocades and glossy silks line the walls. A tower of tutus flanks the door. Swarovski crystals catch the light.
The work done in PBT’s in-house Costume Shop is art unto itself. These costumes don’t just clothe the dancers – they add their own movement to the dance.
Here, PBT Costumier Janet Groom Campbell and her talented team of artisans hand craft tutus, dresses, jackets and head pieces specially designed for the mechanics of ballet choreography.
When PBT debuts a new work, Campbell and her team often bring to life the vision of commissioned costume designers, like Zack Brown’s sketches for The Nutcracker and Peter Farmer’s drawings for PBT’s new Giselle. Campbell and her team also have created original designs for works like The Mighty Casey, The Great Gatsby and other PBT world premieres.
The team creates its own patterns, hand dyes fabric and trim, builds tutus and other costumes, crafts head pieces and masks, and also orders the custom, hand-made pointe shoes worn by PBT ballerinas.
From the first fitting to the final quick change, the wardrobe team keeps the dancers in costumes that evoke their characters and accentuate their movements.
The PBT Set Shop
A few blocks from PBT Studios in the Strip District, the lavish scenery of story ballets like The Nutcracker, Beauty & the Beast and Giselle await the stage.
In this sprawling warehouse, carpenters and craftsmen create props, build set pieces and prep scenery for transport to the theater. Whether they’re building stairwells or swords, the production team nails the details and texture that help transport the audience to another place and time.
Director Curtis Scott Dunn and the members of the PBT production team transform the bare stage into settings ranging from a Victorian mansion to a moonlit forest, and bring to life the vision of internationally acclaimed scenic and lighting designers as well as the overarching vision of Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr.
Under Dunn’s direction, the production team effects all that is necessary to transport the audience into a scene of a story ballet or the ambiance of an abstract work.
The shop also facilitates rentals of PBT costumes and scenery by other ballet companies performing repertoire works, such as Western Symphony and Giselle.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is pleased to offer its inventory of sets and costumes for rental. Please visit here to inquire.
Director of Production
Curtis Scott Dunn joined the company in October 2015. Beginning his career in the 1980’s in dance production in New Jersey and Philadelphia, he moved into production management while on staff at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase NY. Since then, he has served in senior and executive roles at Theatrical Systems Services, design one corporation, NYC’s Eos Orchestra, and Rutgers University – producing dance, music, opera, theater and corporate events. He has toured nationally with Everett Studios, Eos Orchestra, and Chamber Theater Productions, and internationally with Movement Theatre International. He is a founding member of La Strada Ensemble Theatre and has served on their board. When away from the company, Mr. Dunn is also a playwright, actor, and photographer.
Ms. Groom has been with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for 43 years. Her contributions to PBT are innumerable. She has designed costumes for over 25 ballets, including The Mighty Casey, and George Balanchine’s Jewels, Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, Who Cares, Tarantella and Allegro Brillante. During her tenure, she has overseen costume construction for almost every ballet including three productions of The Nutcracker and costumes for Swan Lake and The Great Gatsby. In addition to her work for PBT, Ms. Groom, who received her degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Academy of Pittsburgh in 1973, has designed and built work for Dance Alloy, the American Wind Symphony, and the Chamber Opera of Pittsburgh. She has lectured at several universities including the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Bucknell University and Slippery Rock University, and for a number of local organizations. In 1996, she was asked to design an ornament for the White House Christmas tree and was invited to the White House to take part in the tree unveiling festivities. Owner of the Dancer’s Pointe, a Pittsburgh-based dance wear shop, she constructs some of the store’s inventory and designs costumes for dance competitors from the tri-state area. She is also highly skilled in the art of Scottish kilt making. A Moon Township resident, Ms. Groom is married to David Campbell and has two grown daughters, a son-in-law and three grandchildren.