Costume Shop Director Roxanne Femling to Retire
UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance Costume Shop Director Roxanne Femling will retire on July 1. An alumna, Femling who received her B.A. in dramatic art (costume design and construction) in 1983, joined the department staff in Sept. 1999.
A highly skilled manager and an award-winning costume designer, Femling designed costumes for numerous professional, regional, educational, and community theatres. She won a Drama-Logue Award for her designs for George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, produced by A Noise Within (Glendale, California) in 1992.
Femling’s design work at UC Davis includes The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The 39 Steps, Pippin, Man of La Mancha, Esailama Gedo Diouf’s dance, Sauce, and Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit. She continues to work outside the university as a freelance costume designer and producer of embroidered garments, specializing in blackwork and stumpwork techniques. She has worked as a costume/wardrobe manager for Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, Sacramento Theatre Company, and the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego). Other professional design credits include work for Club Disney, Sacramento Ballet Company, and the Sacramento Music Circus.
One of Femling’s most successful achievements at UC Davis was the creation and supervision of The Enchanted Cellar Costume Rental service which was established to rent garments from the theatre and dance costume collection for local productions, events and Halloween. In fall 2019 much of the collection was sold off, but over the years, the division raised over $95,000 for the department.
“I transferred to UC Davis in the spring of 1981 with my AA from Sierra College studying Theatre,” said Femling. “At that time I had already been working summer jobs where several of my colleagues and supervisors were MFA students at UC Davis and now longtime friends. Along with their help and the professors (Phyllis Kress, Ralph Fetterly and Darrel Winn notably) who mentored and taught me with dedication of and to the craft of theatre, my education here helped me obtain my future jobs. At the several community theatres that I designed costumes for, I taught many volunteers and found that educating others was one of my passions. I was grateful when the opportunity to come back and work at UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance arose.”
“The education I received at UC Davis getting my BA in Dramatic Art, being hired back as a Costume Designer and working here as the Costume Shop Director, teaching and developing young students to go forth into the world with more insight into the techniques and work that goes into costume design/construction, was one of my greatest pleasures.”
“Roxanne Femling has been the backbone of so much beauty and artistry at the Department of Theatre and Dance,” said Professor Mindy Cooper, a Broadway veteran. “Her strong hand as a designer and shop manager has influenced decades of young artists.”
“Roxanne’s depth of knowledge and the scope of costume history that she is familiar with made her an invaluable resource for me as an MFA student at Davis,” said Tasa Gleason, graduate student. “In addition she is one of those rare people who is always looking to learn more and is completely generous with her knowledge. That combination made her perfect for a learning institution. She will be deeply missed!”