Latora Lezotte ?20

Latora Lezotte

Class Year


Current home

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Costume Design

Current Position

Wardobe Assistant at the Milwaukee Ballet Company and Dresser at the Marcus Performing Arts Center

Since graduating college, Latora Lezotte ’20 has utilized her skills and the connections she’s made at Carthage to continue her path in costume design. As the wardrobe assistant for the Milwaukee Ballet Company, she is responsible for distributing costumes to dancers and for helping with quick changes. She takes pride in making sure all dancers have the costume pieces they need and that they’re safe, secure, and comfortable.

At the Marcus Performing Arts Center, Ms. Lezotte works on the wardrobe crew for large shows as an overhire dresser. Her duties range from stitching and making costume repairs to prepping costumes before performances. When working on Broadway shows at the center, she follows strict dressing packet guidelines so that the costumes remain consistent when tours move on to other cities.

“I enrolled at Carthage for special effects makeup but left with a clear path ahead of me and one that I am thoroughly proud of!”

Latora Lezotte, ’20

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I always enjoy the relationships I build with dancers and actors backstage. I am also able to keep a small grasp on designing for smaller companies and schools, which is exciting, but my wardrobe work at the Milwaukee Ballet has been the most fulfilling and welcoming by far. I work with a phenomenal group of dancers and crew members who all thoroughly enjoy the work we put out and who have fun in the process.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Getting a lot of hands-on wardrobe experience in the Carthage Theatre Department allowed me to build a strong base for my work today. My precision and leadership all come from working on the fly and making magic happen when things go wrong.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“Filling in as the supervisor for the Milwaukee Ballet’s “Beauty and the Beast” production left me making swift decisions. Without the problem-solving skills and my ability to stay level headed in high-stress situations, which I perfected at Carthage, none of those small mishaps would’ve been handled as smoothly as they did.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“I met a lot of theatrical professionals through Carthage’s New Play Initiative and while working with Professor Kim Instenes. All of the connections I made quite literally got me my first contracts in the professional world, and it’s been a non-stop snowball effect since!”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“Prof. Instenes and the shop manager Nicole Phillips always allowed me to shape my courses to fit my skill levels, and they never once stopped pushing me to the lengths of my abilities. They trusted in my decisions as a designer in school and allowed me to take on difficult projects to expand my learning the way I thought it should push me. Without their unending support and fun I had in the costume shop, I don’t think I would be as successful or have half as much fun as I do today!”

What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?

“Working in theatre means working alongside a group of other artists and designers. If we all decide to do our own thing, we’d have a horribly inconsistent show that no one would want to see. Working in unison with everyone else on the team makes the shows enjoyable to work on and keeps them running smoothly.”

What's your favorite Carthage memory?

“Some of the best memories happened in the Wartburg Theatre at midnight right before shoving DeRango’s pizza in our mouths. I also enjoyed the time spent with my best friends on Saturday work calls for the costume and scene shops. Truly all moments were memorable, but the best ones were with the people I made friends with and still have by my side today!”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“Never stop fighting for what you deserve. Have a say in how a program should fit you, and don’t settle for less. And make the most out of every lesson. I took every class associated to all fields of theatre, and that gave me vast knowledge on other subjects, which has lead to strong relationships with other designers and a stronger appreciation for everything we do in the arts. I’ve also gotten a few filler jobs based on my other areas of expertise.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?