Veronica Vickas: Costume Designer & Psychologist

Tons of Carthage students are double-majors, especially across different disciplines. One student who falls under this category is Veronica Vickas, a psychology and theatre double-major, who is currently working on her second senior thesis for a play that will premiere in the spring of 2019.

HC: What is your senior thesis for theatre?

VV: I will be costume designing Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi.

HC: How did you choose Marie Antoinette?

VV: The theater faculty every year selects plays that they believe will best further the education of their students. Luckily, Professor Herschel Kruger found Marie Antionette, which ended up being an absolutely perfect thesis for me!

HC: When did you start the thesis/design process?

VV: Wow, well it's a very long process. I would say I started my process of designing in June. That's when I began doing very extensive research on the history surrounding Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. 

HC: What has the design experience been like so far?

VV: To tell the truth it has been a little stressful. I know it will turn out wonderful and look gorgeous in the end thanks to my amazing professors, Kim Instenes and Nicole Phillips, and the crazily dedicated costume shop workers. Once all of the designs are fully rendered – which means they are fully realized with watercolor – and we are able to start building, I'm sure the process will feel much smoother.

HC: What are you most excited about going forward?

VV: I can't wait to go fabric shopping! It'll be very exciting to start seeing how all of the colors and textures involved in the concept flesh out.

HC: Is there anything about the design process that is going to be challenging?

VV: This is an exceptionally extravagant time period, so that means we have to be reasonable with the budget to produce the appearance of the same level of extravagance without going over. Similarly, the building process will be challenging but fun! This is going to be a very heavy-build show because we've never done a show in this period before, and it is highly stylized.

HC: What did you do your psychology thesis on and what was that experience like?

VV: I completed my psychology major in the spring of 2018. For my thesis, I chose to do a clinical application. I had to apply to be allowed into this particular thesis track. Once accepted, I had to apply to different organizations for an internship that would allow me to work one-on-one with a participant. I found my perfect fit at the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha. There I was able to work one-on-one with a boy, for confidentiality purposes referred to as, JF. My supervisor was the one who recommended JF to me - she thought he would really benefit from some extra attention. After spending a few days observing his behavior and speaking with him, his parents, and the Boys & Girls Club supervisor, we were able to determine the skills that JF needed the most improvement on. The majority of my thesis was developing a treatment plan for JF and observing any changes to his behavior to see if the treatment plan had an effect. I will forever be grateful to have had this experience. It really taught me more about psychology and the importance of clinical work than any lecture class could have!

HC: Was it difficult to juggle two theses? Do you ever find any overlap between your two areas of study?

VV: Luckily, I planned ahead so I was able to do my theses in two different semesters. As for overlap, I would say that my background in psychology is what makes me a costume designer. I analyze everything a character says and how they interact with other characters - all of this affects how I design their costumes.  [The] majority of my skills in analysis come from what I have learned in my studies in psychology. It works the other way as well. After dressing people for three years, I've learned a lot about how individuals can express themselves through their clothing.  

HC: What are your plans for after graduation?

VV: After graduation, I am planning on working at a theater as a stitcher or first hand. After that, I plan to start seriously planning my wedding to my amazing fiancé (yay!) and to hopefully start applying to graduate schools for either costume design or psychology – I haven't made my mind up yet... oops! 

HC: Is there anything else you want us to know?

VV: Thank you so much to my lovely, supportive peer, Emily Parker, for this interview and the entirety of the Her Campus staff!

You have all of our support, girl!

Make sure you check out Marie Antoinette when it opens in March.