So I haven't been around in a while. Like two weeks. You may ask what I was doing.
Well the first week I was making the costumes and set for the Shimer spring play. You may have seen pictures (if not check out Meg's entry below). This Spring we attempted an abridged version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The second week I was doing all the stuff I couldn't do because I busy making, buying, or altering the costumes. I am mostly caught up now which is good because the last day of classes is still May 1st, this Friday.
Now that I have a few minutes I thought I would outline some of the neat costuming things we did for the play.
So here is the first picture
Here are the Mechanicals, all played by IIT students. Since we didn't have a period for the costumes I decided on generally grubby looking work clothes. There are a few exceptions, mainly the fantastic blue pants worn by Peter Quince, and the tailcoat we designed for Robin Starveling. Robin is played by Celeste who is sitting on the bench and wearing a black hat. Here is a secret that I think will serve me very well in future Shimer productions: if you take a regular blazer and crop the front of it, then undo the back seam and lengthen those two panels with the matching pants then suddenly you have a tailcoat! If the pants and blazer come from a thrift store this can cost less than seven dollars. Since the budget on Shimer productions tends to be kind of tight I think this will be really useful in productions to come.
Now this is a picture of Brigid (who writes here sometimes) and a very angry Pat, as Helena and Demetrius. Obviously Demetrius is annoyed. Believe it or not these two are a couple by the end of the play. Now rather than speculating about Shakespeare and realistic relationship dynamics for healthy interactions, I would like to point something out about their costumes--though, don't they look kind of different from these two?
This is Hillary (who has also written here) player Hermia with Livio an IIT grad student acting as Lysander.
See to me, their outfits go together very well. Their clothing looks kind of refined and more mature when compared to Demetrius and Helena. In contrast Demetrius and Helena look younger, a little more rustic or pastoral. I feel like it made the couples fit together well without making it too obvious.
Just one other thing, did you notice anything about the colors?
Colors can be really important. One of the things we didn't do was match the pairs of lovers by color. Instead the wrong lovers match each other. Lysander and Helena both have cream/white as a secondary color. And Hermia and Demetrius both have pink. So while their design and taste keep them true to each other, their colors make them traitors, which is kind of funny considering the plot of the play.
I would also like to assure everyone that we did have a set for the actual performance. Those ugly black wall dividers were draped in fabric so it was simplistic, but pretty and in keeping with the general mood of the play.
That's all for now. This week we are having a lunch to discuss what kind of theatre thing we are doing next year. I hope we end up picking things that mean I can make more tailcoats.