Susan O'Neill

Theatre & Dance Program, Costume Director


As a professional costume designer and member of New York's USA 829 since 1985, Susan designs costumes for theatre, dance and opera as well as being a published children's book illustrator and studio artist. She has worked professionally under the world renowned designer Ming Cho Lee, at Yale University, and has studied teaching strategies and techniques with USITT.

Having spent 11 years as the resident costume designer/coordinator for The Pittsburgh Opera, and 9 years as the resident designer for The Dance Alloy, her costume designs and builds have also been seen at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, The Lincoln Center OUT-OF-DOORS Festival and Seattle Opera, as well as toured to three continents, and featured on major network television. Susan has been a guest faculty member and costume designer at the Conservatory of the Performing Arts of Point Park University and a guest lecturer at Gustavus Adolphus College, MN, Allegheny College, PA, and Slippery Rock University, PA.

It is a special privilege to have the opportunity to work with the young talent at Seton Hill, watching and inspiring students as they discover their inner talents.


Joined Seton Hill: 2002
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Personal Areas of Interest: Stand Down Service Fair for veterans.........Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS -USA 829 Grand Auction.....Program Coordinator & Lead Artist , Vet Art Project Pittsburgh, PA
Academic Areas of Interest: Costume Design and Technology for Theatre, Dance, Film & Opera


  • B.S. (Seton Hill College),1979


  • "Story Friends", Freelance Illustrator, 1999-2003, quarterly publication of Faith & Life Resources, a Division of Mennonite Publishing House
  • Lifesavers: 20 Quick & Easy-To-Use Bible Lessons for Kids By Susan Reith Swan; Illustrations by Susan O'Neill . Judson Press, Inc. [More Information]


  • Specialty Puppets and Design team for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood 1982 production of “Anna Platypus’s Birthday Week” , chosen as the PBS Viewers Choice 2010 Award Winner, “Mr. Roger’s Pets and Birthdays”. [More Information]
  • Golden Key International Honor Society , Duquesne University 2009
  • Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Nominee "Established Artist of the Year 1999"
  • Kappa Omicron Phi, National Honor Society , Seton Hill College 1978


  • NAEA /PAEA (National Art Education Assn./Pennsylvania Art Education Assn.) Pennsylvania Presidential Board appointee as Region 5 Representative. Art Education and Technology Committee, Committee on Multiethnic Concerns and NAEA Associate member of The United States Society for Education Through Art
  • KCACTF Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 2 Respondent
  • Designer Member, United Scenic Artists USA 829 New York, NY CD, 1985-current
  • "Vet Art Project Pittsburgh", Lead Artist and Program Coordinator, Pittsburgh Pa ,May 2010
  • Seton Hill Faculty member of the Distinguished Alumni Selection Committee
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Artistic Member
  • Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 1997 - current
  • I.A.T.S.E. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 1985-current


  • "BEOWULF" Invitational Exhibition , West Virginia University, Theatre Department, May 2010
  • "This is A Corset". Undergraduate Theatre Arts one day seminar. Hands-on building of a personal Victorian Undergarment . Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, Greensburg, PA. April 2010
  • "This is Draping". Undergraduate Theatre Arts one day lecture/demo on the theatrical costuming principles Draping. Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, Greensburg, PA. March 2010
  • Costume Designs for "Red Herring", by Michael Hollinger, directed by Terry Brino-Dean at Seton Hill University 2010 featured in the USA829 presentation at the USITT 50th Anniversary Conference , March 2010, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Millinery Master Class "Far Away", by Caryl Churchill . Millinery to be featured in "An Evening of Caryl Churchill" at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN. September 2009
  • "Finders Keepers", Fiber Arts Exhibit in Silk and Copper, East End Event, Pgh., PA 1998
  • Permanent Reproductions Exhibition of Lillian Russell's Millinery, Designer, 'Diamond Lil's Bar' Nemacolin Woodland's Resort, Farmington PA 1992


  • "Judge Jackie Justice" with music by Michael Kooman, and book & lyrics by Christopher Dimond. Costume Designer, World Premiere, Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret 2014
  • VSA Postcard Project, VSA Arts Washington D.C. 2010
  • 'The Crucible', Arthur Miller, Costume Designer, Bemidji State University, MN . Nomination to the The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival 2009.
  • Pittsburgh CLO at the Benedum Center, Pittsburgh Costume Coordinator 2007-2012
  • "Salvation Road' by DW Gregory, Costume Designer, 2009 Philly Fringe Festival
  • "My Way" CLO Cabaret February - May 2009 [More Information]
  • Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre "American Rhythms" February 19-22, 2009 'Straight Life' revival of the 2003 Premiere [More Information]
  • First Night Pittsburgh, PA, First Night Tacoma WA ""Bag Attack", 1997-98
  • Lincoln Center OUTofDOORS Festival, NY 1998 Dance Alloy Costume Designer
  • Mr Roger's Neighborhood, "Anna Platypus's Birthday ", Costume and Specialty Puppetry Designer, 1982 [More Information]


  • NAEA Certificate " Teaching for Artistic Behavior" T.A.B. , 2016
  • Sr. member American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists


  • Juror , Memorial Awards National Association of Costumers 2009
  • IDITAROD Race Team Member , Anchorage to Nome AK 1990-1994