Kjersten Lester-Moratzka

Assistant Dean, Costume TechnologySchool of Design and Production

O: 336-770-1359

Kjersten Lester-Moratzka

Alumna Kjersten Lester-Moratzka's teaching style in the Costume Technology program is an extension of the classic apprenticeship model into the modern era. Her goal is to create a classroom environment where students can feel free to jump into the doing. She believes that exposing students to the sheer volume of opportunities during their time at UNCSA sets their training on a level largely unsurpassed in this country. 

Over twenty years of working with students, I’ve become adept at finding the moments when they need the answer and when they have to find the answer. As they mature through their years of learning with their colleagues, they too begin to unravel the mysteries of learning to trust their collaborators and themselves within the collaborative team.

Kjersten Lester-Moratzka

Lester-Moratzka tasks her students with taking on leadership roles throughout the production structure, meaning at the time of graduation they are ready to launch their careers with a fuller understanding of how to find their place in the work world.


  • Former associate professor of costume technology at Ohio University
  • Principal draper for the Santa Fe Opera since 2004
  • Professional Internships with Desmond Heeley and John Lee Beatty
  • Coursework in garment production at Century College in St. Paul, Minnesota

Career Highlights

  • Freelance draper for a variety of venues such as The Metropolitan Opera and Broadway
  • Working with internationally recognized designers on a regular basis, including: Leslie Travers, Laurent Pelly, Paul Brown, Anne Hould Ward, Jane Greenwood, Tobias Hoheisel, Kevin Knight, Allen Moyer, Martin Pakledinaz, Constance Hoffman, Jon Morrell, Adrian Linford and Tom Ford.
  • Working with internationally renowned Opera singers on a regular basis, including: Susanna Phillips, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Patricia Racette, Christine Brewer, Meredith Arwady, Ana Maria Martinez, Erin Morley, Erin Wall, Ailyn Perez, Heidi Stober, Kelly Kaduce and Michaela Martens.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2021


M.F.A. Costume TechnologyUNC School of the Arts

B.A. History, Art MinorFramingham State College