George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Howard Kurtz


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  • 703-993-2160 (office)
  • de Laski Performing Arts Bldg, A109E
    4400 University Drive, MS 3E6
    Fairfax, VA 22030

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Howard Vincent Kurtz, is a Professor of Theater serving as the head of the Theater Design program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he teaches costume design, fashion history, pattern drafting, makeup design, and other costume related courses, including an introduction to the theater arts for non-majors. Professor Kurtz was honored to receive the George Mason University Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Award, Fenwick Library Fellowship for Research Award, and numerous Outstanding Service awards.

During Howard’s twenty-five-year career at Mason he has directed several mainstage productions and designed sets, costumes, hair, and makeup for over 75 productions for the School of Theater, School of Dance, and the School of Music. In recognition of his service at George Mason University, and with the support of his colleagues and friends, Howard endowed a scholarship in his name. The Howard Vincent Kurtz Theater Endowed Scholarship has been established for undergraduate theater students pursuing a concentration in the areas of design and technical theater.

Professor Kurtz's previous work experience includes several years working in New York City, creating costumes for Broadway, Hollywood films, and television. As a member of the professional costume union, Howard has designed costumes at many regional and local theaters in the Washington, D.C. metro area, including Arena Stage, Olney Theatre Center, Theater of the First Amendment, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He was honored to receive the Helen Hayes Outstanding Costume Design Award.

In addition to his academic and professional work, Mr. Kurtz is the Associate Curator of Costumes and Textiles at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C., the former residence of the Post cereal heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post. For the museum, Howard curated four exhibitions that highlighted the Post family costumes. He has written a comprehensive book that chronicles seventy years of Marjorie Merriweather Post's costume collection and co-authored a publication for the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague on the Czech American designer Oldric Royce. 

Professor Kurtz’s most recent research project is an examination of the costume designers and craft artisans who worked for the Federal Theater Project from 1935-1939.  
Howard is a member of the professional union, United Scenic Artists Costume Division, the United States Institute of Theater Technology, the Costume Society of America, the Textile Society of America, and the American Association of Museums. He also serves on the Board of Directors and is the Endowment Board of Trustees chair for the Costume Society of America.  

For more information, visit Howard’s website at

Professor Kurtz teaches courses ranging from Theater History to Costume Design and Technology. 


MFA, Theatre Arts, Pennsylvania State University (1990)

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Appointment: Tenured

Faculty Rank: Professor

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