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Introduction to Character Make-Up 10am - 1pm 10 9

Make-up is so much more than just slapping on some foundation, powder, mascara and rouge!

How do you build a character with make-up and then apply that make-up on the face? What do you have to do differently in Twilight's 88 seat theatre vs. 2,992 capacity of the Keller Auditorium?

In this class we'll start with foundations of character make-up: understanding the topography of the face, and how health, socioeconomic status, plus time period, blend into your character make-up choices. After designing your make-up, you'll learn how to apply your design. Which make-up products to choose, applicators to use, and why. Whether you're an actor, designer, someone who loves make-up or has never touched it and is curious to try something new, Introduction to Character Make-up is a fun highlight of backstage life.

During our three hours together you will:

  • Learn drawing, blending and color theory basics

  • Create a make-up for a character of your choice

  • Participate in make-up demonstrations

  • Design and paint for the venue 

  • Practice applying make-up

  • Receive feedback on your make-up application and design

  • See how make-up lives differently under stage lights

  • Compare the Ben Nye class supplies with make-up you bring to class. How can they play together?

  • Clean up and care for your skin

  • Sanitize everything!

  • Ask questions and receive answers

Please pre-purchase this make-up kit:

OR bring:

  • black or dark brown mascara

  • eyeliner

  • foundation

  • loose powder

  • make-up wedges

  • powder puff

  • fluff brush

  • highlight - creme and powder

  • shadow - creme and powder

  • blush

  • two eyeshadow brushes (one for highlight, one for shadow)

  • blush brush

  • brown eyeliner

  • neutral lipstick color - what you wear to not look like you're wearing any

  • lipliner

  • hand towel

  • wash cloth

  • your favorite soap/facial cleanser

  • your favorite lotion

    any make-up you have that you're like, "what do I do with this?"

About the Instructor, Kate Mura:

Transformation is my passion...

Kate Mura is an actor, union stagehand, designer, and coach. She chooses theatre as her life's work because we constantly prove creating other worlds *is* possible.  Consequently, it's her quest to inspire & create the world she wants to live in, one beautiful, supportive, and sustainable through tragedy and pain. How? By helping folx remember: you are creative.

Most recently, she designed make-up for The Poet's Shadow, a collaboration between PHAME Academy and The Portland Opera. She has designed for Northwest Children's Theatre, Jewish Theatre Collaborative, Fuse Theatre Ensemble, Third Rail Rep, Enlightened Theatric's Wizard of Oz, Artist's Rep, and the Oregon Symphony.  She has done make-up for numerous photo shoots since 2001, multiple companies locally and nationally including The Goodman Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company, and her own character make-ups for over thirty years. As an I.A.T.S.E. Local 28 make-up artist she has worked on Oregon Ballet Theatre's SOBT, and multiple years on The Nutcracker; for Portland Opera, and multiple national tours of The Lion King. 

Understanding all aspects of theatre is deeply important to Kate, so she can also focus lights, run cable, construct a set, ground rig, hang a PA, set up projections, make masks and puppets, create props and prosthetics, load a truck and more. On camera, she has been in multiple industrials, NBC's Grimm, Cover Oregon commercials, and Gus Van Sant's Restless. Onstage she has performed in almost 200 productions, from Off-Broadway to Portland, OR, nationally and internationally, as a dancer, actor and puppeteer. For which she is her own principal make-up artist. She is also the Artistic Ambassador and a co-founder of Fuse Theatre Ensemble with whom her solo show Suburban Tribe has been seen masked and unmasked on four continents over nine years.

When she’s not in a theatre she can be found exploring her surroundings, reading tarot cards and being naked in nature. Check out for more.


Kate's make-up training began doing her own make-up as a competitive dancer. While receiving her BFA in Acting at The Theatre School of DePaul University, she trained under Nan Zabriskie, going on to be a make-up assistant, which included assistant teaching. Since then, she has taught a wide array of theatre courses - including make-up - for dozens of educational institutions across the US, including The Theatre School of DePaul University, Portland Actors Conservatory, Patton Middle School, Gresham HS, Rex Putnam HS, Links Hall, the Ulmer Collins Event, and Portland State University.