Faculty/Staff Directory

Martha Ferrara

Costume Design


Phone: 661.291.3053

Fax: 661.255.0462

Room: E103B

Martha Ferrara is an award-winning designer of more than 75 productions in theatre, dance, opera, video and performance art. She is perhaps best known for her interpretive reconstruction of costumes for the futurist opera Victory Over The Sun, directed by Robert Benedetti in 1980, originally conceived by Kasimir Malevich in 1913. These sculptural costumes have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, der Meervaart in Amsterdam and at the History of Sculpture exhibit in Basel. As the costume designer for Loretta Livingston & Dancers, Ferrara created the costumes for twelve repertory premieres, including Two Thousand Steps, a Millennium commission by the Orange County Performing Arts Center. She was honored as the first recipient of the Lester Horton Award for Visual Design for Dance. In theatre, she is known for her designs for new plays, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' production of Cootie Shots and the Odyssey Theatre's Year One of the Empire and McCarthy. In 1997, Ferrara created the costumes for the Public Television production, Isabella d'Este: First Lady of the Renaissance, written and directed by Dr. Eugene Enrico, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ferrara joined the faculty of CalArts in 1977 teaching courses in costume design, history, patterning and special crafts. She served as the interim dean of the CalArts School of Theater from 1991-1995. Her 2013 essay on developing a costume curriculum can be found in the anthology, Inspired Teaching, a USITT publication. Before coming to CalArts, she held the position of costume designer at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Michigan, the American Sister school of England's Royal Academy. Her training is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Goodman School of Drama.

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