Photo by Nichols & Company, Inc.
Sarah Lankenau (above left) chose to study at IPFW’s nationally renowned theater department. Her mentor, Craig Humphrey, associate professor of theatre, introduced her to costume design.
|Having loved theater for most of her life, it made all the sense in the world that Sarah Lankenau would choose to study at IPFW, where the theater department is nationally renowned.
But Lankenau would have been astonished had anyone told her that, by her senior year, acting and every other aspect of theatrical production would have taken a back seat to costume design—award-winning costume design, no less—and the mentoring she received from Craig Humphrey, associate professor of theatre at IPFW, made all the difference.
“It was Professor Humphrey who first let me design costumes for a series of one-act plays, Indiana Voices,” Lankenau said. “As is typical of Professor Humphrey, he expected more of me than I had of myself. Ever since, I’ve been hooked. By graduation, I had designed six shows. That breadth of experience would have been next to impossible at a larger school.”
After winning the Region 3 costume award for her work on the IPFW production of Assassins, Lankenau was a contender at the 2000 American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where she received positive feedback and made valuable contacts.
“I love it all,” she said. “The research involved in period dress and character is intriguing to me. So is the sketching. So is the actual construction of the costume.”
“Sarah’s leaving us with an education that prepares her to walk into any graduate school,” Humphrey said. “She’s now working full time in the field and being paid to design costumes locally for Youtheatre, Huntington College and IPFW.”
Sarah intends to go to graduate school within the next few years. “I know if I don’t, Professor Humphrey will find me and make me go. There’s so much more to learn—and he wants me to learn.”