Wig Design and Makeup (2015-2017)
Martha Ruskai earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and an M.F.A. in Theatre Design from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Ms. Ruskai conceived and developed the wig and makeup program at UNCSA and served as its director from its inception through 2006.
Ms. Ruskai began her career working with such legendary singers as Jerome Hines, John Alexander and Dame Joan Sutherland. During her 25 year career she has designed more than 200 productions at over 25 companies encompassing every area of the performing arts. Career highlights include building Bryn Terfel’s wig for his U.S. debut and designing “Der Rosenkavalier” with Helen Donath and Delores Zeigler.
Ms. Ruskai’s professional credits as a makeup artist, wig maker, and designer include Piedmont Opera Theater, Opera Carolina, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Nashville, Atlanta, and National Operas; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, New York Concert Baroque/Concert Royal; Atlanta Ballet; and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
In addition to fashion runway work, Ms. Ruskai has styled print and TV ads for Miller Light Beer, Girbaud Clothing, IBM, and Neese’s Sausage. Film work includes historic re-enactment films for Planter’s Peanuts and the John Dickenson plantation. She has also built and styled properties wigs for the motion picture “Sleeping with the Enemy,” as well as building and styling wigs for several made-for-TV productions including "Tecumseh!”. In addition, she maintains an active guest lecturer schedule having given master classes at Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Indiana University, Colorado College, Brenau College, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Georgia State University, and the Cleveland institute of Music.