...all manner of things, and all at once. Progress on Summer on Stage is happening. It is. In fact it's happening so quickly that it's becoming a challenge to keep everyone busy.
The "Mini's" show went by without a hitch; 30 tiny space uniforms with coordinating shiny hats took about 3 days to put together. They looked truly adorable on stage. From an artistic point of view, the bright colours and reflective materials really helped the kids stand out against the grey background. Also, a little ingenuity kept us well within budget, which was an accomplishment in itself. We did, however, have the "cute" factor on our side with this show, as well as the talent of the kids, so I think we were well ahead from the beginning.
So that's one show finished, 2 more upcoming. We're well underway making the props for the big design project, Shockheaded Peter. Below is a sampling of what we've been up to. A new script by director Madelleine O'Reily provides ample opportunities for exciting costume elements. The play is constructed of a series of stories about some "average" schoolchildren and all of the naughty things they get up to. For each vignette, one child changes into the naughty version of him or herself - they become a monster! For this show, we're busy making body parts that elongate, masks that change colour, fish that fall out of hats, and all sorts of bizarre things. The visual theme for the show is "illustration," which is carried through from the storybook themes of the play. We have been making most things from scratch using the materials we have on hand. There has been a lot of patchwork, hand-painting and creative manipulation of all sorts of materials in order to create the look we're after.
The biggest challenge so far has proven to be the costume pieces for the title character, Shockheaded Peter. As called for in the script, Peter needs to have the ability to grow long, black hair (2-3 metres long) as well as fingernails that are pulled out of his hands by the school children. Luckily, we're not looking for high-tech solutions here due to the "illustration" feel of the costumes (and also time and budget constraints, as per always,) so we're currently experimenting with a simple mask/wig combination and chunky gloves with clever capsules for hiding black ribbon hair and fingernails.
Unfortunately I can't post show photos here, but here are some images from the wardrobe during prep:
1. Dip-dying some space uniform t-shirts. Cost saving and colourful.
2. Illustration by Claire Barclay of "Johnny Head-in-air" who falls into a river and drowns. Some helpful children recover his rucksack and hat which appear to be covered in fish, previously concealed in sneaky hidden pockets.
3. Some colourful fish.
4. Ari modelling hat/fish apparatus in progress.
5&6. Wardrobe prep.
My online brainstorm and sketchbook. Here's what I'm working on and what I'm inspired by.