For my Senior Independent Study, I aimed to answer the thesis question: How does costuming affect the theatrical performance for members of the rock and roll band The Up All Nights and the response of their audience? Defining musical performance as a type of theatre, I ideated a hypothesis that rock and pop artists who utilized costuming became more theatrical, and thereby, created a more interesting image, or persona. I studied famously costumed bands/musicians including The Beatles, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, The New York Dolls, The Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, KISS, Cher, Devo, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John, GWAR, Marilyn Manson, Daft Punk, Emilie Autumn, and Lady Gaga. Studying these musicians' costumes; utilizing tools like semiotics, fashion theory, and design theory; and taking inspiration from their personas and lyrics, I designed and made costumes for The Up All Nights. The Up All Nights concluded that their theatricality increased in the costumes. I exhibited my designs in a survey session in which I asked a mock audience about the affect of the costumes. The survey results verified that the mock audience also found The Up All Nights' theatricality increased, proving my hypothesis correct.


Tritt, Kim


Theatre and Dance


Fashion Design


theatre, costuming, rock and roll, semiotics, fashion theory, design, performance

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Hannah Middendorf