‘It’s a backstage choreography and it’s as important as the onstage choreography.’
A dresser works backstage assisting the maintenance of costumes during performances, ensuring they’re of a high-quality and standard, and helping actors with quick costume changes. They report directly to the Wardrobe Manager and/or Costume Supervisor. Dressers may progress to become Wardrobe Assistants and Costume Supervisors.
Other courses are available. Those above represent a sample from various drama schools and universities.
There is no formal training to become a dresser, although a dresser may have studied costume/fashion at university or drama school. Many people working in Wardrobe Departments begin by working in local theatres, progressing from dresser to Wardrobe Assistant. Skills are developed on-the-job while gaining useful industry contacts – designers, Costume Supervisors, Production Managers, etc. – which are vital for securing future work.