Shura Pollatsek is a versatile costume designer whose work includes theater, dance, opera, film and television. She has created classic characters such as Hamlet, Puck, Eurydice, and Scapin, and new and unusual creations including metaphysical pro-wrestlers, stretch-cobras for children’s theater, and dancing zombie dolls.
Shura believes that costume design is a vital art. It is not illustration or embellishment, but a means for the communication of ideas. Successful design takes the story, characters, and historical facts, and translates them through an emotional and artistic lens.
Shura has designed costumes for New York City venues including The Pearl Theatre, HERE, Ellis Island, and The Storm Theatre. Regional work varies from Shakespeare on the Sound, where large audiences watched magical classics under the stars, to the Boarshead in Michigan, where she worked with acclaimed director Douglas Campbell, among others. Recent dance designs include Halcyon with Christopher K. Morgan & Artists at the Alden Theatre in Virginia, and Thirst, performed at the Kennedy Center and on international tours by CityDance Ensemble.
Her work has been seen on national television, including The Duel and Woodrow Wilson (International Documentary Association Award) on PBS' preeminent history series The American Experience, and The Kingdom of David and Andrew Jackson, also for National PBS. Shura has been Assistant Costume Designer for Broadway shows, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, (assistant to Tony Award Winner Martin Pakledinaz) and All Shook Up, and for major opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, as well as many regional theaters around the country. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
Shura began sewing and making artwork at a young age, and by high school was designing costumes for school productions. She continued at Wesleyan University, and after a brief interlude as a high school French teacher, continued her costume career in New York City. She holds an MFA in Costume Design from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After many years as a professional free-lance artist, she is now based in Kentucky, where she is Professor of Costume Design and Technology at Western Kentucky University. In addition to teaching, she maintains an active free-lance design career.