Linfield lands accomplished costume designer

Stacey Barchenger

Managing editor 

At 13 years old, David Hermosillo took his first role in the theater as a clown in “Carnival.” He said he is still a clown, almost 20 years later.

His dad hoped he would be a doctor, but lucky for Hermosillo, one of his four siblings is now a pre-med student at the University of Oregon.

“If you want to make yourself invaluable to theater, learn how to sew,” his mom told him.

He took this advice and ran—at first, around the world—with it.

Trying to escape his hated home state of Texas has taken Hermosillo to places as distant as Prague in the Czech Republic.

But for now, Hermosillo has landed in McMinnville as adjunct professor of theatre and communication arts and staff costume designer for the theater department.

“Theater jobs are hard to come by if you’re lazy,” he said.

Lazy is exactly what Hermosillo is not.

In November, he finished the First National Tour of “I Love a Piano” as wardrobe master. Before that, he was the assistant wardrobe master with the Nevada Ballet.

His job at Linfield’s varies daily. Some days he is teaching an introduction to theater class, and others he is doing freelance work. At other times, he works exclusively on costume design for the theater’s next production, “Crave.”

Costume and other work research has taken Hermosillo many places, including downtown Portland to find inspiration in the punk culture for a character in “Crave.”

Hermosillo split right after graduation from his high school in Texas to Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. He took some time off and then earned his master’s of fine arts degree in theatrical design from the University of Oklahoma in 2006.

He was hired at Linfield in early December and started teaching in January. His first class, Intro to Theater, combined the perspectives of theater majors and non-majors, an aspect of the class he really enjoys.

“I’m fascinated with fresh new opinions,” he said.

Q&A with Hermosillo

The Linfield Review: What is your favorite part of the theater?

David Hermosillo: The first dress rehearsal when the lights, costumes and set all come together. You’re in a virtually empty theater. All the performers come together on stage. That joy, to me, is so rich. The work is worth it for the rush I get when I see the clothes out there.

TLR: How important is attention to detail?

DH: Attention to detail is very important in my job, especially in an intimate show like “Crave,” when you only have four characters on stage all the time. All the details have to be right. I hate when I watch a movie or play and it feels sloppy. So when I work, I work in a way that feels and will look natural. I’m always critiquing media, and I think it makes me a better artist. I approach it from a holistic, constructive view.

TLR: What is your personal style while costuming?

DH: I like to play with the toys that are there. I always try to find a little bit of a different hook to work on. I do, however, sort of have a hallmark. I’ve managed to work a piece of clothing that I personally own into every show I’ve designed. I started working on smaller shows that had relatively tiny budgets, and so I started out lending appropriate things to productions. By the time I’d done four or five shows, I realized that I’d done this and thought it was a nifty thing to continue doing.

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