Kindness in the Curriculum for Newest Theatre Professor

Published: August 24, 2022 | Author: Kol Gibson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Matthew Pedersen

Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: The Department of Theatre, Dance, & Arts Administration (TDAA) at Southern Utah University (SUU) welcomes Matthew Pedersen as its newest Assistant Professor of Costume Design. A costume designer, wearable artist, and stylist, Matthew holds a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design from Florida State University (FSU) and has worked with The Metropolitan Opera, ESPN, Netflix, and Broadway productions of Frozen, Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, The Book of Mormon, and Misery. In addition to teaching at SUU, Matthew is currently the resident costume designer for the Endstation Theatre Company in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Originally from rural Missouri, Matthew spent his formative years on a pig farm in Oak Grove, Louisiana. His love for costume design began as a freshman at the University of Central Missouri (UCM), where he committed to work in the costume shop as a fall musical cast member and never left. After devoting his undergraduate years to learning his craft, he earned a prestigious spot at FSU to earn his master’s degree in one of only a few programs in the country where he could learn every facet of costume design. His work has taken him all over the country, and he gained international recognition in 2019 as he was selected among artists from over 50 countries to be featured as an exhibitor for Innovative Costume Design of the 21st Century: The Next Generation in Moscow, Russia. 

“We are thrilled for this new addition to our faculty,” remarks Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration department chair, Brian Swanson. “Matthew brings with him a wealth of knowledge. His experience designing for the stage and the screen will help students to see all of the possibilities for a future in the field.”

While costume design as a discipline may seem somewhat straightforward, there is more to it than determining the perfect fabrics, finding the perfect fit, and dressing the actors with the correct accessories. “Clothing is a powerful tool,” says Professor Pedersen. “Fashion has shaped culture and the way we understand and face daily life. There is always something to say with clothes.”

Design and fashion history aren’t the only lessons that Matthew has to teach. “The one lesson I wish to teach every student is that kindness is always the best option! Be kind and have as much fun as possible.”

Matthew will begin teaching Theatre classes in SUU’s fall semester, which begins on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. For more information about SUU’s Department of Theatre, Dance, & Arts Administration, visit

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 41 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, filmmaking, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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