Karen Brewster

Member, Commission on Accreditation
Elected March 2022; term ends March 2025

Karen Brewster is Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), having joined the faculty in 2000. During her time at ETSU, she moved from full-time teaching and designing for the Department to Associate Chair in 2010, Program Director in 2016, and Department Chair in 2017. Her achievements include initiating and overseeing the move to a standalone department, and planning and administering the opening of a new facility.

Professor Brewster developed her career most significantly at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia as costume shop supervisor, costume craftsperson, and costume designer. She spent nearly 20 years working as an artist in regional professional theatres from Nebraska to Maine prior to her appointment at ETSU. She is co-author, with colleague Melissa Shafer, of the text Fundamentals of Theatrical Design: A Guide to the Basics of Scenic, Costume, and Lighting Design, published by Allworth Press. The authors are currently working on a second book, Fundamentals of Style, A Guide for Theatre Artists with Allworth Press.

Professor Brewster earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Costume Design from Michigan State University, and her undergraduate degree in Theatre from East Tennessee State University, where she studied under the esteemed Daryl and Bud Frank.


Posted April 2022