Donna Southern Schmidt


A Magna Cum Laude graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Donna began her costuming career at the celebrated Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Currently in her 26th year as a professional costume designer, Donna has designed over 200 shows including The Importance of Being Earnest, Joyful Noise, Charlie's Aunt, Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure; Emma, Godspell, The Beams are Creaking, Shadowlands, The Miracle Worker, and The Diary of Anne Frank, awarded Houston Press Best Costume design for the 2014 Houston Press Awards.  Ms. Schmidt also designed John, His Story, which performed at the Lamb's Theater off Broadway in New York City.

Of the many children's shows Donna has designed over the years, her favorites include The Jungle Book, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, Treasure Island , The Hobbit, The Hero Squad Vs The  Supervillian's Apprentice, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, The Wizard of Oz and Pinkaliscious, The Musical.  

Donna has designed at numerous Houston theaters including Express Theater, Interactive Theater, Mainstreet Theater, and the A.D. Players where she served as head designer and costume shop manager for 25 years.

In addition to designing, Donna is currently the manager of the Costume Connection, a costume warehouse collaborative led by Main Street Theater in Houston for arts groups to share resources and rent costumes for productions.

Ms Schmidt's design awards include over 20 A.D. Players Spotlighter Costume Design Awards, The 2014 Best Costume Design for the Houston Theater Awards hosted by the Houston Press,  The Museum of Fine Arts Silver Scissors Chairman's Choice Award in 1994,  and The Fine Arts Fashion Award First Place Theater/Fancy Dress Award in 1996 and 1997, The Fine Arts Fashion Award Honorable Mention in 1997, and Honorable Mention for Professional Theater in 2000.  She was recognized as one of Houston's top designers in 1996 at the Sickle Cell Association Fundraiser Fashion Show.