Faculty & Staff
Before joining Mason Gross School of the Arts as the Costume Director in 2019, Denise Wagner was a draper at McCarter Theatre for 17 seasons. She has also draped for Goodspeed Opera House, PlayMakers Repertory Theater, Papermill Playhouse, Folger Theater, Shakespeare in the Park, and The National Theater, and freelanced for Jess Goldstein and William Ivey Long.
She has collaborated with many designers including Jennifer von Mayrhauser, Amela Baksic, Paul Tazwell, Linda Cho, David Farley, and Francis O’Connor. Her Broadway credits include building dresses for Arianna DeBose (Bronx Tale), Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice), Daphne Ruben Vega and Priscilla Lopez (Anna in the Tropics), and Susan Lynch and Morgan Hallet (Translations). She has created costumes for such notable actresses as Tonya Pinkins, Julie Halston, Kristine Nielsen, Alexander Silber, and Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie at La Jolla Playhouse) and notable actors as BD Wong, Ben Schrader, David Costible, and Richard Schiff. She feels extremely lucky to have worked as a cutter at the legendary Broadway costume house Barbara Matera Ltd.
She has contributed her costume construction skills to the films The Art of Love, Gods Behaving Badly, Fading Gigolo, and Weiner Dog, and a New York State Lottery television commercial. She was a first-hand for the opening act of Paul McCartney’s Back in the USA Tour 2002. She has created costumes for American Repertory Ballet and the Carolina Ballet.
Denise has enjoyed draping for student designers at University of California, San Diego and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And taught various costume technology classes at Rutgers, Marymount Manhattan College, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and lectured at Rider University.