University of Michigan
Equitable Stage Makeup and Hair
University of Michigan

Equitable Stage Makeup and Hair

Taught in English


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Sarah M Oliver

Instructor: Sarah M Oliver

Beginner level

Recommended experience

27 hours to complete
3 weeks at 9 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Learn foundational techniques for applying stage makeup for all complexions and bone structures.

  • Learn inclusive language and basic techniques for theatrical hair and wig preparation.

  • Analyze text and utilize color theory to develop characters through makeup and hair application.

Details to know

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March 2024


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There are 8 modules in this course

Welcome! This module will introduce you to the course instructors, share why we have crafted this course, and provide details about course logistics to help you prepare for success on this learning journey.

What's included

3 videos2 readings

In this module, you will be introduced to the necessary vocabulary needed to foster inclusive theatrical makeup and hair processes and terminology. To get started, you will create a makeup kit that will enable you to complete the modules in this course.

What's included

1 video3 readings1 discussion prompt

In Module 2, you will get to know all about faces - the anatomy and vocabulary that will become the roadmap for makeup design and application. Then, we'll explore color theory and how color informs the application of makeup. After reading the short play, A Park Bench Triptych, you will analyze characters and create a research board that describes your design choices.

What's included

3 videos4 readings2 assignments2 app items5 plugins

It's time to put on some makeup! In Module 3, you will follow along as we hear from guest experts about how to apply contour, highlight, and foundation to create a balanced makeup application. We'll close by discussing strategies for scaling the makeup based on the size of the performance venue.

What's included

10 videos7 readings2 app items1 plugin

With a familiarity of makeup tools and techniques, in Module 4, you will apply these skills to age the face, create wrinkles, and explore how to adjust the makeup depending on the venue and lighting. These are great skills to develop especially for educational theatre where performers are often cast to play characters older than themselves.

What's included

7 videos7 readings1 peer review

Building on lessons in color theory, and introducing new household materials, in Module 5 you will have the option to practice simple special effects to create the illusion of bruises and wounds. Skills in this module can be used depending on the requirement of a script, deeper character development, and illusions needed as part of cosplay. Module 5 explores the world of trauma makeup and practical approaches to creating makeup looks for special effects. Building on lessons in color theory, you will also have the option to practice makeup looks for creating the illusion of bruises and wounds. Depending on the script or character needs, skills learned in this module are applicable to cosplay and deeper character development.

What's included

12 videos6 readings1 app item

In Module 6, you will develop an understanding of different hair textures, and how to prepare different hair textures for wearing a wig. We will take a close look at theatrical wigs and facial hair to understand how to put them on, take them off, and take care of them for extended use.

What's included

15 videos2 readings1 assignment1 plugin

Meet reality TV star and Drag artist Alexis Michelle! In this optional module, you will be guided through all the steps necessary to heighten your makeup with a fun exploration of gender in applying a drag makeup application. Time to get out some glitter!

What's included

11 videos8 readings1 app item


Sarah M Oliver
University of Michigan
1 Course206 learners

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