Dress rehearsals, opening night, sitting in the audience, sending John out for water, then tape, then socks, then medicine, then kleenex, is part of the stress of theatre. I could not do this without him. Nagging actors to hang up their costumes in such a way that makes my job easier is not a lot of fun either. They are young. And, some are slobs. I am not their mother. I am not their mother. I fulfill more roles than the program bares witness to. I am the designer, shopper, coordinator, cleaner, and wench of costumes as well as teacher, pacifier, moral builder and hugger. I work behind the scenes, at home, at school and backstage.
Like with my writing, it is the process I love. I am on the play selection committee - something I take seriously. During selection this past year, I noticed the committee leaning heavily to Moliere's Tartuffe. Although I love the word play, the fun, the characters, I was not hot on the idea of creating costumes for thirteen actors like these...
and these...As a joke, I e-mailed that I thought bouffants and go go boots would be a great way to go. I was just kidding, but apparently I was the only one who knew that. The next thing I knew, we were placing Tartuffe in the 1960s rather than the 1660s. I was thrilled to have such a fun era to play with. As I work my way through the process, I hope you will recognize some iconic figures of this era - some quirky images of things we, the over forties, knew in our lives.
I am included in the auditions and Jon, our director, makes decisions but not without imput and I love that I can give some of that imput. I love watching these actors grow into their roles and I love helping them do so by the clothes I create for them.
I would like to share a bit of my process and some of my sketchbook. I am not an artist, so collecting images is how I begin to shape the ideas that eventually transform into my art on stage. So, without further adieu, I introduce you to the OTC Fine Arts Program's cast of Tartuffe...fully dressed.
Mdme. PernelleThis is Helen. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature. Her day job identity is as a real estate sales extraordinaire and is a dynamo actress with a wonderfully snooty Scottish accent. I mean this in the best way possible. I wish I talked like that. She is adored, and brightened tired minds often during long rehearsals.
Helen played Mdme. Pernelle an overzealous mother and woman of high fashion and high conviction! She is fooled by Tartuffe more than even her son, Orgon. She speaks of and to Orgon as if he is a bafoon. I suppose we are all bafoons from time to time. Mdme. Pernelle evolved out of my experience with and knowledge of Coco Chanel. Sprite, witty, and speaking her mind, I gathered images of Coco and her suites. Mdme. Pernelle could afford the finest the sixties had to offer. I was lucky to find this wonderful pink boucle suit at a Junior League second hand store. The lining had a two inch separation in a seam and the shop knoocked off $30.00. It was a great find at $70.00. This suit is beautifully made, three pieces, with a gold weight chain at the jacket hem. Her shoes were also purchased at a second hand store in town - $3.00. Helen is a redhead, but a Queen Elizabeth wig, made the transformation complete and Mdme. Pernelle judged and scolded her way across the stage. She was great!
For Vintage Thingies Thursday - I present Mdme. Pernelle's pearls. I found these at one of my very favorite thrift stores. Three pearl bracelets from the Dollar Jewelry Store and my Chanel pearl earrings made things just right.
Visit Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday and share your vintage treasures. If you would like to join us, visit Suzanne's lovely blog, post a comment to her vintage treasure post. Create your own Vintage Thingies Thursday post and create your Mr. Linky connection.