Behind the Seams

“Welcome to the pandemonium that is costume parade.”  These are the words that met me as I entered Lyric Arts last week.  And chaos ensued, but in an oddly controlled way. And again I was treated to an enlightenment of just how much goes into one production at Lyric Arts.  I’ve seen a great many performances, but it seems that I just took the whole production for granted.  Take costuming for example.  There are things that would stand out as glaring errors if they were done incorrectly, but when they’re done right, it just all seamlessly (pun intended) blend into a successful production.

Let’s get back to costume parade here.  My guess is you’re wondering what the heck it is.  Well, I was too.  This is the point in the production where most of the costumes are completed, and the costumer and director get together to make sure it all works.  Are the costumes aligned with the director’s vision?  Do the costumes fit the period?  Do they work together?  Work with the set?  All these questions need to be answered at costume parade.  And costuming even helps separate the good from the evil.  Color is super important here too, both in illustrating character transformations, and in harmonizing the characters.  Part of costume parade is ensuring the characters don’t clash with each other or the set.

Luckily, you don’t have to take my word for it.  Check out these sneak peak, behind the seams pics of the upcoming costumes.

Seeing all of these lovely costumes had me questioning just where they come from.  See each production has a costumer who’s responsible for pulling all the outfits together.  But that still doesn’t answer our questions.  Luckily Becky, the friendly costumer for this production was ready to share some secrets.  So like any good community theater, Lyric Arts takes donations for costumes, but a lot of them still need to be made and purchased.  And if making costumes wasn’t enough, Becky’s responsible for making alterations.  And ladies, we all know how important those accessories are.  Well, they’re just as important on stage.  Well, duh, right?  But seriously, these things don’t occur to me as I sink into a theater seat brimming with anticipation.  Can you imagine, though, if all the actors came out barefoot?!  And what’s more, Becky shared that these are the most costumes that she’s had to prepare for any one show.  I like to think that’s a sign of how awesome it’s going to be.

So, bet you didn’t think all these nitty gritty issues went into one production.  Look what we’re learning here kids.

And don’t forget you can haul out your own period costumes.  Shakespeare’s birthday is April 23rd.  If you come in costume to that performance, you’ll be treated to a little birthday cake, live music from the Black Velvet Band, and get to meet actors from the Renaissance Festival.  What’s more, if you’re in costume, you’ll even get a free ticket to this year’s Ren Fest!  Yup, it’s Shakespeare’s birthday, but you’re the one getting the gift, in addition to seeing a fabulous play.

So, if this is your first time checking out my Shakespearience, mosey on over to Jessica’s Shakespearience to learn a little more about what we’re trying to do here.