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Janelle Smith

Costume Designer | Wardrobist | Stylist

Janelle Smith is a Chicago-based costume designer, wardrobist, and stylist who has worked at Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater, Marriott Theatre, Oil Lamp Theater, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, and The Gateway Playhouse doing wardrobe, hair, makeup, and costume design. After finishing their BFA in Theatrical Production and Design at Western Michigan followed by an MFA in Theatrical Design from Illinois State University.

Artist Statement: As a Black, queer individual I am dedicated to building a collaborative environment that harnesses creative energy to explore various identities and cultures. Each artistic endeavor I embark on, I want it to be impactful and aiming at making a difference in society while bringing underrepresented voices to the forefront. It is my firm belief that art, in all forms, is made to tell a story and evoke emotional responses to help people understand different perspectives. A character's clothing is often the first thing an audience member encounters and so much can be understood simply by what a person is wearing. It allows the audience to make connections to those characters as they blend into world created on stage. As a designer, I believe it is my responsibility to tell stories through those connections that garner empathy, inspire and challenge audiences to confront their internal bias.

Janelle Smith
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