Clare is based in Boulder, Colorado. She has been designing costumes for over 35 years. She grew up in a big family in Indianapolis, attended the University of Evansville and then the University of Washington. After school, she moved to San Francisco to do an internship at the American Conservatory Theatre, then to San Diego to work at the Old Globe Theatre as an Assistant Designer. She began designing her own shows there and elsewhere, and also worked as a photostylist for still photography, film, and television. A job for her husband prompted a move to the small town of Nevada City, CA. She used that as a base for designing in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and began work across the country at theatres like Geva, North Shore Music Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center and the Arizona Theatre Company, among others. In 2007, she moved to Boulder and has been there ever since, working with a number of notable directors, actors, and musicians, and has garnered many nominations and awards for her work–all of which can be found on her resume.
Clare’s favorite shows to design are a mashup of period and contemporary styles—she enjoys new works as well as Shakespeare, musicals, and classics. She is known for her keen sense of color as well as style, whimsical at times. A director Clare worked with said: “Clare Henkel has such an incredible eye for color, pattern, silhouette and line; she can literally make any shaped body look better than anyone ever thought possible.”
Recent and upcoming projects include A Yuletide Celebration for the Indianapolis Symphony starring Angela Brown and Josh Kaufman; The Diary of Anne Frank and the world premier of Sin Street Social Club for the Arvada Center. Living in Colorado allows Clare to go for a hike in the morning and spend the rest of the day designing. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 429.