Deborah A. Brothers

Costume Director and Lecturer in Theatre

A character begins as words on paper. Then you get to work.

When you’ve finished, words in a script become compelling human beings who stride the stage, mesmerize the mind and sear the soul.

You are astonishingly aware of how we feel in our clothes, deeply sensitive to the power of what we wear to move and inspire us. So your costume designs do (forgive the pun!) suit both character and actor.

In nearly 100 productions here—and scores more in the region, across the country and around the globe—you have blended color, shape, material, texture and the perfect touch of ornamentation to conjure the perfect costume. The final product imbues actors with an almost magical power to become who they must be onstage.

Just as magically, over the course of 37 years in the Theatre Department, you helped Williams students become who they must be in life.

Our alumni recall that—in the classroom, in the studio and in the costume shop—you believed in them. You gently but firmly pushed them to explore. You ignited their confidence.

You taught them that, in life as in design, success isn’t “just having and executing ideas.” Success as defined by Deb Brothers comes from, as one graduate put it, “building and collaborating and learning from the people around you all the time.”

“An incredible teacher of theater and life,” one graduate calls you. “No one can make an artist,” says another, “but there are those few people who have the ability to make [artists] see themselves.”

So, yes, a character begins as words on paper. A student begins as a wellspring of potential. Then you get to work.

Thank you for your extraordinary service as Costume Director and Lecturer in Theatre.

June 4, 2023