Working in the Theatre: Makeup

A character on stage is shaped by many factors.  An important, and often under-examined aspect to the creation of a character and achievement of a production is created by the magnificent makeup artists on and off-Broadway.  But, what does it take to achieve the prefect show-ready look 8 times a week? Makeup Artists Brian Strumwasser and Thelma Pollard share their journey on the creation and maintenance of a character in this episode.
Through Brian’s work on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, we delve into the detail and dedication needed for one actor to change their look 17 times in a show.
Thelma Pollard’s work on The Phantom of the Opera shows how a show’s longevity and cast replacement can continue to keep the life of a makeup artist on her feet eight time a week for over 28 years.

For more information on Brian Strumwasser’s work, please visit

For more information on Thelma Pollard’s work, please visit

American Theatre Wing’s Working in the Theatre documentary series features the most fascinating people on the stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. From Tony Awards® and Obie Awards® winning artists to the next generation of theatre makers, we capture theatre’s inner-workings, industry luminaries, and unique stories that surround important work.