Costume Shop Geek Out

So here on floor two,  we find ourselves having long involved conversations about things that normal people probably don’t even think about in a day. 
We could chat for hours about  which kind of  hand sewing needle is better, we all have our favorites.  Jen prefers a 9 sharp,  whereas I prefer a 7 milliner and Deb prefers the ones with the large eye so she can thread them.   I know, you probably didn’t know that there are different categories of hand sewing needles.

Scissors are always a hot topic.   You should never cut paper with your fabric scissors and vice versa.  It’s just not done!!!  It makes kittens cry.  There are oodles of different types of scissors, but I won’t bore you with that. I fear it would sound a lot like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  Womp, Womp, Womp. 

The real reason I started this entry was to tell you about our latest geek out.   Tyler, who is designing Into the Woods and his lovely assistants Nicole and Courtney went to the mecca of fabric stores, NYC!    Now as we all know from being avid watchers of Project Runway, this is where Mood is located.  There are numerous other stores there, not as fancy pants, but with really good fabric and trim. So that is where our intrepid design team went to shop. 

Sadly they did not visit the House of Spandex, which is just somewhere I like to go because they have every color spandex ever thought of by the half blind disco lovers who send out those horrible dancing school costume catalogs.  I digress.
I’m having trouble with the photos so let me describe.  What appears as a simple pile of fabulous fabric and fur will turn into amazing creations.   

Here is some of what Tyler brought us
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‘Twas the Night Before Load Out

‘Twas the night before load out and all through the shop, all the creatures were sewing, no one could stop… 

I should be more witty, but I can’t think of anymore rhymes plus, I gotta go sew!

The Evening of Women Playwrights is upon us and the shop is a beehive of activity, everyone is working hard on finish work.   We do all the functional notes to a costume first and then we do the trimming.  That way if a costume doesn’t have all it’s sparkly trim, it can still go onstage.  A sparkly trimmed jacket is lovely, but if the jacket isn’t wearable for dress rehearsal, then it’s not very useful.

This group of shows has  been very interesting because one is Victorian, one is mid century, and one is a throwback to the 80′s.   There will be many beautiful silhouettes to admire, so you’d better go see them.

Oh there’s a tour here!  The parents and students who come on them are always so nice.  They usually say it looks just like Project Runway in here. Yesterday someone even said, “Make it Work!”  Except here, we have to make sure it actually looks like the sketch, fits, and can stand up to the rigors of the show.  Plus we don’t use glue or tape to finish things..2261625666_dfc4146eb6.jpg

Costume Shop Happenings 2/12/10

Hello Everybodeee!   We have been hard at work here in the Costume Shop. X Dance is up and running. I hope you will all get a chance to see it, even though I hear it’s sold out! 

Here’s a photo of the “To-Do” rack in the shop, it’s pretty normal now, but I’ll update it when we are in the middle of  working on Into the Woods, It will be enormous.   
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Right now we are on the home stretch for the Vendetta Chrome, The Bluest Eye and October/November.  Here’s a sneak preview of Vendetta’s skirt, the bodice is gorgeous as well, but if you want to see it you will have to go to the show.
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More next week, love from the shop!

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From the director of VENDETTA CHROME

post by Kristen van Ginhoven

How lucky am I? I am one of three students currently directing a one act play by a woman playwright as part of Emerson College’s Main Stage upcoming show ‘Coming of Age’, happening Feb. 25-28 in the Semel Theatre. WOW! Huge thanks go to Maureen Shea, initiator of the entire event, as without her, this incredible learning curve I am currently on would not be happening. She has long been an advocate of creating opportunities to hear the voice of women playwrights onstage and she is also the one who thought it would be a valuable experience for students to be involved as directors. I feel incredibly grateful to be one of the three chosen.

Since being chosen last spring, it has been a whirlwind. Maureen read tons of plays and when she read ‘Vendetta Chrome’ by Sally Oswald, she thought it would be a good fit for me. She was right. I completely fell in love with the play and am having an incredible time working with the design team, the actors, the stage management team, the musical director and composer, and everyone else who is part of telling the story of Vendetta Chrome. From a press release about the play: ‘It’s the ’90s. The 1890s. And poor Vendetta has always been a bit behind the rest of the girls in her elocution class. But now it’s up to her to save her school, her family, and herself–and it’s all in the dance moves.’ Yes, Maureen definitely found a play that appeals to my aesthetic: ensemble based, farce, full of movement and music, complete with mysterious twists to the story.

I have been lucky enough to communicate with the playwright, Sally Oswald, who will be coming to campus to partake in forums and see the show during its run Feb. 25-28, 2010. She has been a wonderful support and it will be very exciting to meet her. Maureen continues to guide me with a clear hand and has such a deep knowledge of directing and of telling stories that I am able to completely trust this journey we are on. How many people can direct for the first time on a thrust stage (The Semel Theatre in the Tufte Building) and have someone come in and guide them in how to most effectively use the groundplan? I cannot tell you how valuable this experience is for me, a mid career professional actor and educator who is currently an emerging director. I am learning an incredible amount about the professional process of directing a play and the twists and turns that are part of the director’s process. I hope all the various students involved in the different areas feel the same way as we all work together to tell this story in the most dynamic, theatrical way possible.

It feels like I have been granted a self imposed MFA in Directing opportunity and for that, I am extremely grateful to Maureen, Emerson Stage and all who made this opportunity possible.

The Adventures of Frederick and Jalaina…. and so we begin!

Greetings from the 6th Floor Production Office! This is Frederick and my first blog post, and we are very excited to keep you up-to-date on the ins and outs of Emerson Stage. Classes have begun and we are officially finishing up the third week! Auditions ran smoothly and the cast lists have been posted. Rachel even let Frederick post the Into the Woods cast list. Paint began rehearsals this week, which are going very well. There will be six actors working on Dan DeNicola’s Newfest win, and then an additional group of actors that will be working on the Newfest Readings. More details to follow as we get closer.

Other than that, next door, in the Greene Theater, the marley dance floor is down, and X Dance 2010 goes into tech this weekend. There are 25 dancers who have been working since November to bring the work of five student choreographers to life. It is a show you won’t want to miss, but make sure you get your tickets quickly, as it will sell out!

Well, that’s all for now! More from Frederick and me soon!

            Xoxo

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And the winners are…a report back from KCACTF

From Rafael Jaen:

Emerson students received various awards last week at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 1 held at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. The Region 1 includes colleges from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeast New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The students who received awards are:
 
National LMDA/KCACTF Award for Dramaturgy Initiative, First Place
Jessica Baxter – Show: Incorruptible -Emerson College
(This student has been awarded a scholarship to participate at the National Festival, April 12 – 17, 2010)
 
National Barbizon Award for Excellence in Costume Design, First Place
Sydney Robinson – Show: Six Characters’ in Search of an Author – Emerson College
(This student has been awarded a scholarship to participate at the National Festival, April 12 – 17, 2010)
 
National Barbizon Award For Excellence in Lighting Design, First Place
Tracy Wertheimer – Show: Esperanza Rising – Emerson College
(This student has been awarded a scholarship to participate at the National Festival, April 12 – 17, 2010)
 
National KCACTF Award For Excellence in Sound Design, Second Place
Brendan Doyle – Show: Esperanza Rising – Emerson College
 
Regional Merit Certificate for Scenic Design
Megan Kinneen – Show: Illyria – Emerson College
 
Regional Merit Certificate for Props Design
Joanna Stenning -Show: Incorruptible -Emerson College
 
In addition two Emerson faculty members participated; Rafael Jaen served as Co-Chair for the Design, Technology and Management area and Debra Acquavella participated as workshop leader and Stage Management interview coordinator.

Congratulations Emersonians! Jessie, Sydney and Tracy–break a leg at the Nationals!

DT KCACTF.JPGPicture by Kirk Miller. Left to right: Brendan Doyle, Megan Kinneen, Rafael Jaen, Deb Acquavella, Tracy Werthiemer, Sydney Robinson