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Department of

Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Corey Johnston, MFA

Adjunct Assistant Professor


Corey Johnston is the faculty costume supervisor.  He designs and manages the costume shop for both undergraduate and graduate student productions. Currently he teaches Costume Design, Costume Construction, and Fundamentals of Theatrical Design, but has taught Theatre History, Makeup and Masking, Creative Dramatics, and Theatre and Society in the past.  Since 1996, Corey has designed, built, or supervised the costumes for over 65 shows at USD.  His designs have also appeared locally at Cygnet Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, Moxie Theatre, North Coast Repertory, Sledgehammer Theatre, as well as Sierra Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre of Walnut Creek, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 


Corey worked as a staff costume technician for 5 years at the Old Globe Theatre prior to coming to USD where he worked on a variety of shows including Lucky Duck (designed by Gregg Barnes), the pre-Broadway debut of Play On! (designed by Marianna Elliot), Time and Again (designed by Katherine Zuber), Thunder Knocking on the Door (designed by Paul Tazewell), Trojan Women (designed by Ann Hould-Ward), a number of shows designed by the late Lewis Brown, the pre-Broadway debut of The Full Monty and the original initial production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (both designed by Robert Morgan).


Corey’s work as a technician has also been seen at La Jolla Playhouse in the pre-Broadway debuts of Bonnie and Clyde (designed by Tobin Ost), Hands on a Hardbody (designed by Susan Hilferty) as well as Little Miss Sunshine (designed by Jennifer Caprio) and others.  Additionally, Corey has worked at Tacoma Actors Guild and Central Missouri Repertory.



Corey received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with an Emphasis in Costume Design from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1995.  He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a Technical Emphasis from University of Central Missouri in 1992.  His Master’s thesis project was the production, Oklahoma! featuring Cedric Yarbrough as Ali Hakim and Melissa Peterman as Gurtie Cummings.

Scholarly and Creative Work


Corey funnels his non-collaborative artistic endeavors through his wearable art business, Relished Artistry, where he makes unique one-of-a-kind attire and costumes, art dolls, mobiles, and digital art.  He has displayed his work at such venues as the Ocean Beach Street Fair and the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival.  Corey’s art, as well as his theatrical portfolio, can be seen at his website: Corey Johnston Designs.

Teaching Interests


A huge amount of Corey's professional technician experience has been in mens tailoring, but he has endeavored to keep his hand in a variety of disciplines, including crafts and dyeing.  His recent experiences have exposed him to thermoplastics, which are enticing to him.  His strength is in his generalism as a costume practitioner, allowing him to expose students to a variety of different techniques and practices at the basic introductory level.  His interests include the exploration of Photoshop and Painter programs for costume rendering and digital art.