These are photo's from the 3rd dress rehearsal. A discussion between Director Ken McGlaughlin, Set Designer Laura Fine Hawkes, and myself resulted in an abstract concept- a merging a contemporary minimalist aesthetic with historical reference from the late Victorian time period. This idea enabled the team to pay homage to the playwright's original intent and ultra freedom to creatively interpret the piece with a modern eye.
Research! More research, sketches, budget, more research, purchase, pull, plan, build, and illustrate. Add to the wall (these boards are merely a sampling) and get to work! ;)
Now we have a detailed plan for the semester! After the discussion's with the draper, and ordering online and purchasing locally all the fabric and notions, the students and I begin to build.
Did you see the wig above? Here are a few more natural hair and hand-knotted full lace wigs students styled. Also, a few of the hats and accessories student worked on. They had their hands in altering, stretching, embellishing, with things like feathers and painted flowers. Plus- dying gloves, shoes, parasol, fans and and other.
Jenny Diver, the character below, transformed from the street singer to the Madame of the Brothel.
Below is one of five prostitute's in the making! Students cut (in muslin) five pattern's for the chemise (each had a different sleeve style) and bloomers.
This is the head prostitute Dolly. She is a bit older than the other girls. Can you tell by her finished makeup? What gives it away...? Hint: darker lines and shadows blended in the right areas. Students did sketches and research they presented so we could discuss properly and presented to the cast formally. They also did pre-final and final makeup tests. In the end this was helpful for teaching the run crew and volunteer student collaborators.
Also, makeup tests and makeup concept conversations were held with the director, we all agreed to push the facade by creating a mask like image.
These are the beggars. Their makeup (like the prostitutes) has a watercolor-painterly effects, but much looser and seemingly randomly applied. This relate to the beggars action on stage, when they paint signs for panhandling, as part of their beggarly duties. Some of the girls dressed as boys and vice versa. Can you tell who is who? not really and not important? good- that's the idea- facade!
These are the men of the opera. The students very carefully helped create and maintain many the looks for these characters.
This is Mack the Knife, his costume is the only one without color, except when he wears his yellow kid gloves, as stated in the script.
Check out his neck scar- perfectly visible to the back row.
We decided to keep the actors ponytail when, after research and discovery, it was deemed appropriate for the period. It also was in keeping with his bad boy image.
Also, he is made peachier by adding eyebrows and a mustache with crepe hair and spirit gum.
Cops, priest, and victorious messenger riding! The play is actually a comedy.
...but in the the last moments a very serious and moving message is delivered.