In January I took on perhaps the most ambitious costume design project to date and followed that up with my second year designing the Twilight Zones for Theater Schmeater. Needless to say I have neglected this blog again for four months… days after I made it a resolution to pay more attention to the blog! I guess that is the way I roll!
TOMMY- The Rock Opera
I get an email on January 5th asking if I could design for the Burien Little Theater’s Tommy production that opens February 17. At first I say no because it is too far a commute for lugging costumes with no car. Then my friend Michelle tells me that she is playing the Acid Queen (which I wanted to see) and that I can commute with her, the budget is decent too, which intrigues me- a good budget will make up for a lot of things. Short story- I accept before looking at the script- faintly remembering Ann Margret rolling around in beans and Elton John with rising platform shoes that I love the thought of designing the outfit for. WELL, the 1992 Broadway Rock Opera is not as high on LSD as the 1974 movie and it has about 30 costume changes in the prologue alone, gulp! I just had to dive in head first and figure out how to swim later because the clock was ticking away.
Here is the whole set of pics on Flickr
The Twilight Zone-
Lisa Branham and Daniel Christensen in Twilight Zone Live!
The week after tech of Tommy, I start designing for the Twilight Zone… which I have known about for months now and I have the scripts and seen the episodes already. I was excited for this because we have move this production for the very small Theater Schmeater Play house to ACT in downtown Seattle, tripling the audience capacity. I really love this production because of the period. Since the original series ran from 1959-1964 (I think) the is a very specific period and the director, Tim Moore, is very detailed in his vision. Its like my own little Mad Men world…. with some Monks mixed in.
I am POOPED! I slept all last week because of the lack of sleep for the prior 3 months. Thank my lucky stars that I won’t be designing for theater until September. I want to sew for myself!! BUT I do have an Art Show on May 12 at Coyote Central. So Stayed tuned!
John Q Smith, Chris Macdonald in The Twilight Zone Live!
Chris Macdonald and Buddy Mahoney in The Twilight Zone Live!
I have been teaching kids (girls) ages 9-13 how to sew and design for a really excellent Non-profit organization called Coyote Central
since last October. I have to say- I have been having lots of fun. I really did not think that I was the teaching type… or even had anything to say about sewing to children but well- I guess I learned something. My regular class is called Design Sew and Embellish
– and through the school year it is on Saturday morning (all the better for keeping me honest:) but during the summer the class is more like a one week intensive , and it is pretty much full as of now.
Also since October Coyote and I have been talking about and organizing a special workshop in conjunction with (and funded by) the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for the Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth exhibit that closed this last weekend. I know, I know… my timing is impeccable. We held the 2 day/10hr. workshop for 8 child artist in mid April and debuted the creations at Community Night on May 5th at the SAM. These kids were champions not even wanting to break for lunch!! The Jackets were then displayed at the SAM for the rest of the exhibit and then they will be put in a brand-spanking-new Coyote Central Gallery space!!
Thanks to Chris Barnett for the beautiful Picture of the process and the parade!
So this is a new (ancient) play that I am designing for Open Circle Theater here in Seattle. The story of Ajax is a Greek war tragedy written by Sophecles . This is an adaptation by a local thespian/writer, Todd van der Ark. It is a weave of modern and classical text and symbols- like modern desert fatigues mixed with knife fighting. One of the things that the director is spotlighting is PTSD syndrome and I think that it is interesting to see that this disease was also a problem in the ancient Greek society.
I also did the graphic design of this post card and the poster for the show!!
Fear for your lives!!
The play I am designing costumes for, “The Twilight Zone”, opens next Thursday Night. If you are in the Seattle area you should definitely come check it out. The show run March 18-April 16, 2011- Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm. This years episodes are as folllows:
The Obsolete Man
Time Enough at Last
The Mosters are due on Maple Street
Don’t be shy…You are sure to see aliens and have nightmares!!
So doing this play was an extreme amount of work but so invigorating and inspiring. There is just something magical to seeing a play build from concept to stage. I just really love being in the theater, but know that it can also lead to burn out real quick.
MacBeth… yep I said it, is a really deep and dark play but mystical and alluring none the least. Theses actor are all really amazing right down to little Issac (MacDuff’s son), it was great to glimpse in on there process and have that inform what I ultimately do- the shirt has to be able to move with the broad sword or the shirt will shred- not the sword.
Good lessons were to be found at every turn. For instance: Lists are essential to this process- the couple of times that something did not make it on the list it was forgotten (much to the frustration of the actor/ director). Another beautiful lesson to learn early: teeny- tiny-micro budget= lot of thrift store time. The cheapest white fabric you can find is sheeting at the thrift store on a 1/2 off day and women pleated skirts make great kilts (much to the dismay for my male actors :)).
All in all a great experience!!
If you are in the Seattle area and want to see the show (one weekend left!) click here for more info.
Jay Chen Photography –