One would never think that a small 8-member cast would require so many costumes. The number of costumes wasn’t as daunting as the fact of dressing for the Memminger for the first time – up close and personal. Wow, now the emphasis is on detail and more detail. Research provided the ideas, swatching provided the fabric and Erin Cary (Costume Assistant) and I, along with volunteer Barbara McGarth and TheatreWings apprentices provided the labor. And boy, we did labor! Hours too numerous to count went into creating the 72 costume pieces for the show.
Rich or poor, each costume had to help the actor develop his character. Glorious rich silks for Elizabeth (played by Resident Actor Sarah Claire Smith), earthy rough textures for Delacey (played by local actor Ross Magoulas) and scars for the Creature (played by Resident Actor Michael Lasris). It is interesting to note that everything that an actor wears on stage is considered a costume, so, even the Creature’s make-up and hair is a part of his costume.
The setting of the play is Switzerland, so the villagers have a Bavarian look, which we took from ethnic costumes of the region. The well-to-do Frankensteins have the look of the early 19th Century. Challenges came with how to make time pass on stage while keeping the actors in view. Major changes happened to the character of Elizabeth, because she was off stage most often and her changes made the passage of time seem real.
From Elizabeth’s wonderful garments to the Furs of the Artic, we snipped, pricked and sneezed our way to the finish. But in the end, it was worth it; our costumes bring the script and character to life. With the generous help from Stuart Lawrence Salon and Michael Christensen, Frankenstein’s Creature brings the prefect touch to the Halloween season!
(Resident Actor Andy McCain as Victor Frankenstein and Resident Actor Sarah Claire Smith as Elizabeth)
(Resident Actor Sarah Claire Smith as Elizabeth)