Costumes – Picasso at the Lapin Agile

As you may know, I’m acting in a student written play — my first acting “gig” in over a year, but what you may not know is that I’m also doing costume design for another play! I’m the head costume designer for Picasso at the Lapin Agile and I couldn’t be more excited! Picasso was written by Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) and tells the story of Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and a time traveling rock star *cough* Elvis *cough* who all meet in the same bar one evening. It’s odd, funny, and wordy — I can’t wait!

I absolutely love costumes and I find being a designer for a show incredibly rewarding. Last night we had our first production staff meeting for Picasso and it got me super pumped. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with theatre, a production staff meeting is where all the designers for each aspect of the show – props, costumes, set, sound, lights, etc. – meet with the directors and producers to discuss the “vision of the show” and begin the planning process). Since we are in the very early stages of the show, we were discussing the script and throwing around preliminary ideas. The play takes place in a fictitious French bar in 1904, so I’m getting to costume my first true period piece! Clothing from the early 20th century isn’t easy to find at your local consignment shop – women wore S-bend corsets and long gowns and the men wore tailored suits. It’s all very elegant. The director and I tossed around the idea of playing with color and perhaps having the costumes change from blue to red to represent Picasso’s transition out of his “blue period”. I’m interested in sticking with traditional 1900’s silhouettes, but perhaps playing with different textures and patterns that wouldn’t be found during that time. We’ll see! Thankfully, I’m not doing this alone – I have three costume assistants (who all know how to sew – I basically won the assistant jackpot!) and I will train them and take them under my wing. I pretty much learned how to costume shows on my own through trial and error, but I will teach them what I’ve learned so once I graduate there will be more experienced costume designers at TCNJ.

Last night I was up really late because I couldn’t stop looking up 20th century clothes and sketching costume ideas, but it was so much fun. I’ll keep you updated on the show!

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