Karen J. Gilmer

  • Lecturer II
  • Costume Designer

Ms. Gilmer classes include, Costume Design I and II, The History of Costume Fashion and Dress, Introduction to Theatre Design-Costuming, Theatre and Collaboration and Stage Makeup and Design.  She designs costumes, wigs and makeup for the University of Pittsburgh and other professional theatre companies, colleges and universities. 

Ms. Gilmer has previously directed and designed costumes for University of Pittsburgh's Stages production of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.  Her costume design theatre, opera and dance credits include: Point Park University, Pittsburgh Playhouse Rep, City Theatre Company, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Arden Theatre Company, Everyman Theatre Company of Baltimore, Point Park Dance Company, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, St. Michael’s Playhouse in Vermont, Susquehanna University and Bucknell University. 

Ms. Gilmer was awarded the African American Council of the Arts Award for Best Costume Design for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars produced by Pittsburgh Playwright’s Theatre Company.

Research Interests

Ms. Gilmer's research and scholarly interests include African American theatre history, history of costume, fashion and dress, Stage makeup and wig design, fabric dyeing, painting and modification, millinery.

Education & Training

  • MFA-Theatre-Costume Design, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • BA-French-West Chester University, West Chester, PA