Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Making of As You Like It...

Today's video is a peek behind-the-scenes,  edited and produced by Braxton Hood. It includes interviews with Director Joseph Haj, Composer Mike Yionoulis, Scenic Designer Peter Ksander and Costume Designer Anne Kennedy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another hat-making pictorial for As You Like It

Costume designer Anne Kennedy had seen several hats she loved for the character of Corrin--some in her research images, and some on actual people she saw in the street. Ultimately, what she wanted for this man (whose clothes are distressed, and he lives in the woods) was a battered tall-crowned homburg with essentially a cattleman's-crease crown shape.

This was quite a fun project to pull off!


Annie loved this hat!

Except, the crown was too low and the brim too wide.


First, i saturated the straw with water, stay-stitched around the base of the crown in two rows 1/2" apart, and cut the crown from the brim in between those rows of stay-stitching. The water makes the straw stitchable and cuttable without splintering/cracking, and the stay-stitching keeps the weave from fraying.


The straw hatbody on the left has a section of similar vent-weaving as our existing crown, right. I decided to harvest that section of the hatbody to insert and lift our hat's crown to the desired height.


Here's the hat with its new tall crown (the insert's intentionally raggedy edge adds to its "distressed" look), it's brim cut down to a 2 1/4" width, and a wire inserted. The alligator clips hold the wire and brim edge in place for sewing, kind of like pins help orient a seam in fabric.


Wow, there it is as a totally different hat!
-Rachel Pollock, Costume Crafts Artisan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dress Rehearsal!

The cast of As You Like It performed their final dress rehearsal last night! Previews begin tonight, the first time the cast performs in front of an audience. The production is beautiful and a lot of fun. Here's a peek...

David Adamson as Adam, Derrick Ledbetter as Orlando, KG Garcia as Oliver
Brett Bolton, Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Duke Frederick, John Dreher
Derrick Ledbetter as Orlando, Brett Bolton as Charles
Alice Whitley as Celia, Marianne Miller as Rosalind, Brett Bolton as Charles, Derrick Ledbetter as Orlando
Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Duke Senior, Scott Ripley as Jaques
Marianne Miller as Rosalind, Jimmy Kieffer as Touchstone, Alice Whitley as Celia

As You Like It, Forest of Arden
KG Garcia as Oliver, Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Duke Frederick
Forest of Arden
Marianne Miller as Rosalind, Alice Whitley as Celia
Jimmy Kieffer as Touchstone, Katja Hill as Audrey
Marianne Miller as Rosalind, Alice Whitley as Celia, Derrick Ledbetter as Orlando
James E. Brinkley as William, Jimmy Kieffer as Touchstone
Marianne Miller as Rosalind, Derrick Ledbetter as Orlando
Marianne Miller as Rosalind

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scenes from a Rehearsal Hall

Today is the big day! As You Like It begins tech and moves into the Paul Green Theatre for the first time in the rehearsal process. To mark this special day, here are a few images from the rehearsal hall.

Scott Ripley's Jaques observes the antics of Jimmy Kieffer's Touchstone & Katja Hill's Audrey.

Director Joseph Haj works with Jimmy Kieffer & Katja Hill.
More Audrey & Touchstone
Traveling! (submitted by stage manager Sarah Smiley); Marianne Miller as Rosiland, Jimmy Kieffer as Touchstone and Alice Whitley as Celia.

Tug, the most popular staff member on the Nickleby blog, has resumed his post in the rehearsal hall and oversees everything.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Brand New Hat

At PlayMakers, we are well into production on our first mainstage show of the season, Shakespeare's As You Like It. Our costume designer, Anne Kennedy, found a hat that she loved for the character of Rosalind, but it was a completely unacceptable color. It fell to me to make a reproduction.

Here's how i did it!

This is the original period hat that Anne loved.
Too bad it's dusty pink; the costume is periwinkle blue.

This original is a blocked buckram form covered in sculpted felt foliage. We also wanted something softer and fresher.

I found these silk flowers in our flower stock,
which perfectly matched the Rosalind dress fabric!
Here they're pinned on the original hat for a visual,
to see if Anne liked them.

I didn't have a block of the correct shape to block the base, so i flat-patterned it with darts and a seam, and steamed it into the appropriate curvature.

My crafts assistant, undergraduate costume assistant Caroline Long, disassembled the pile of flowers into their constituent parts for application to the buckram foundation.

Here is the hat after it has been wired, mulled with icewool, covered with silk crepe de chine. I am arranging some blue lily petals across the back, tiled like the leaves on the original.

Here's the finished hat!

Pretty cute!
Post by Rachel Pollock

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Costumes - All in the Research

Any costume designer will tell you great design starts with great research. Today we'll take a peek at As You Like costume designer Anne Kennedy's research as she began work on Shakespeare's most beloved comedy. These only serve as inspiration, not the final designs, however. Check back here in the coming days to see Anne's sketches and swatches for the finished products.

Ideas for Rosiland and Celia at court

More Rosiland and Celia

Possibilities for Duke Frederick

More ideas for Duke Frederick's men

People of the forest

Ideas for women of the court vs. women of the forest
Possibilities for Duke Senior

More ideas for Duke Senior & Lords

More Duke Senior

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beckett's Happy Days Opens Tonight!

Today we're taking a detour from our Mainstage production to bring you these "hot-off-the-presses" photos from PRC² 's Happy Days, which opens tonight. Longtime company member Julie Fishell portrays Winnie, one of the great female roles of the American theatre, while fellow company member Ray Dooley plays her husband Willie.

Happy Days is Samuel Beckett's absurdist comedy masterpiece - at times whimsical and fantastical, while at others poignant and moving. It's rumored that the Nobel Prize winning playwright wrote it in response to a friend's request that he "write a happy play." You'll want to see this one if you can!