Emily Gill is currently an Associate Professor of Theatre specializing in Costume and Makeup Design and Technology at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. She comes to UM from earning an MFA in Drama from the University of Georgia (2007), a freelance design career in Atlanta as well as an internship at the Seattle Repertory Theatre (2000-2001). Emily earned a BA in English and Theatre Performance and Design from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida (2000).
In addition to primary costume and makeup design duties at UM, Emily designs costumes and make-up effects for Southeast area regional theatres, recently receiving the Broadway World Birmingham 2015 Best Costume Design of a Local Play or Musical for City Equity Theatre’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Other Birmingham projects include Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2015) and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2016) for theDANE. Emily has a small design as performance project called Pillowfort that has presented at the Montevallo Art Walk (when she isn’t in charge of coordinating volunteers!) When possible, she especially enjoys the chance to work on premieres and original works. “I like the idea that I am a part of the beginning of something- that we are introducing something new to our local audience or even the world!”
Research interests include: Alternative makeup solutions (independent makers, DIY hacks from existing and raw materials, “democratizing” makeup- exploring subcultures and underserved makeup consumer groups including but not limited to transgendered consumers, non-binary gendered persons and non-”white” skin tones), 3D special effects makeup for stage and film, the role of makeup/hair choices in “respectability politics,” official and unofficial sumptuary laws/cultural restrictions with reference to individual gender, and use of new technologies in costume and makeup fabrication.
Teaching interests include: Character Development through costume, Cinematography and Art Direction theory, Fashion Theory, Costume and Wig Crafts, Molding and Sculpting for the human face, Play Analysis, portfolio and personal branding trends and best practices, and Interdisciplinary Studies between the performing arts and Cultural Studies.
Locally, Emily is on the Board of Directors of the Montevallo Arts Council serving as the Events Coordinator as well as the subgroup Art Walk Posse as the Volunteer Coordinator. For three years she has been the coordinator for an Academic program at Welcome Weekend as a continuation of service on the General Education Review Committee for UM and has also served several roles in the Information Literacy campaign as part of UM’s SACS reaccreditation efforts. All of the above important movements in the larger picture of making Montevallo a great place to be!
Regionally and Nationally, as a continuation of her duties as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (2009-2012), Emily works on the Publications and Nominations Committees, as well as involvement in the International Activities group, the latter an area close to her heart as a former beneficiary of the USITT Student Travel Award, that allowed her to drag a hula hoop around some of the most beautiful land and sea on earth in Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Why a hula hoop? Well, because the kind people of the USITT United States Exhibition for the Scenofest Schools of Scenography selected “JellyFish,” a “design as performance” piece created with performance partner Ben Philipp to be a featured performance exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial Design Exhibition in 2007 as part of the Scenofest branch of the exhibition. Hula hoops and white sweatpants were a significant design element in the performance.
“Most of my day is moving from a meeting about Core Learning Outcomes and successful retention rate statistics to looking at a student’s “witch face” sculpt before molding to dropping in on some other students boiling braiding hair in a pot of dye as part of an experiment, to finally joining others working in storage to sort through shoes and pants. Where else but UM would I be able to do all that? Where else would all my diverse, interdisciplinary interests be possible without question?”