How to: Portfolios

Whether you've never heard of a portfolio or you've been crafting yours for years, our checklist will help you be sure that you're putting your best foot forward in your interview!

Portfolio Checklist

Something to think about.. you’re creating a narrative about your work. Your work is what makes you stand out. Rely on the work itself; whatever best shows your talent and affinity for theatrical storytelling. The goal is to show you think critically with a passion for your chosen field!

Hover over each major to see specific recommendations.


1. Resume

2. Lots of pictures!

3. Include Process Pictures (Mock up fittings, laying lace, black and white renderings, draftings, set dressing, cue script, rehearsals)

4. Labels for Shows/Projects with proper crediting of director, other designers

5. Examples of paperwork necessary for you to do the job/ paperwork you created to show your organization skills.

6. Add Miscellaneous at the end that you wish to include. Interesting hobby that correlates to your work? Other digital work? Video?




A wig and makeup designers portfolio would go In order of Design, Wig Construction (if applicable), Makeup applications, Misc.



Stage managers should create a binder with every piece of paperwork you used or created for the production. Cue sheets, Call sheets, Production meeting notes, blocking script, calling script, calendar, run sheets, prop lists, scene breakdowns. Quite literally anything. Pictures and drawings encouraged, as well. 



A sound design portfolio will mostly contain paperwork (i.e. sound plots or a marked script or sound cue list) that shows how you work as a sound designer. Photos of shows can be helpful but also include photos of your mic rigs or anything else you can photograph. Have short digital examples of any mixing or foley sounds you’ve created. And finally anything else that you like doing goes the extra mile.  



A scenic designer’s portfolio should display the world’s they’ve created. Could go in the order of scenic design, scenic painting, renderings/models, illustrations, and graphic design (if applicable). Consider bringing a physical scenic model/scenic painting example?


A director’s portfolio should also tell a story of the process. Interspersed with plenty of photos show the paperwork organization, analysis, research, casting documents, design process, rehearsal script annotated, production photos, possibly PR like reviews or write ups, and misc/personal information.

Lighting Design

For lighting design, having a collection of any kind of paperwork you made is a serious plus. This includes but is not limited to Hookup paperwork, Lighting plot (by hand or computer), and gel sheets. Please include plenty of pictures and a resume as well.




Costume design and construction portfolios should emphasize on the process. Character mood boards, color, concepts, collages, swatches are very important in the portfolio. For each show/character rendering - include the process - pictures of renderings, the final design, production photos. Leave the notes and analysis out of the portfolio. They will ask about the reasons for your choices and that's how you share your thought processes.