The Misanthrope

Job: Costume, Hair and Makeup Design

Playwright: Moliere

Directed by: Kirk Everist, Beardsley Theatre 2013

Reflection on the project-

I was approached to design for this before auditions started, and the director voiced that he wanted to bring Moliere into the 21st century. He explained that they were going to try applying societies dependency on social media and technology to the classic themes in Moliere’s work, and wanted a costume design to match it.

All of the characters, including the misanthrope Alceste, are incredibly vain. They use their clothes as a means to project an image that they think society wants to see, but to an extreme. Normal modern day clothes wouldn’t do, these characters needed to be a part of a culture. I immediately thought of hipsters. Within the general term “hipster” is a plethora of styles, all with one goal- to show who you are in a unique and slightly off beat way. Of course, once more and more people took on that style, it became less unique, but that’s the beauty of it. All of the characters would have a unity about them, but be completely different. In order for this to work, I had to work with every character to find their own sense of style.

I knew I couldn’t understand the characters as well as the actors could, so from the beginning of rehearsals I started working with them. Each actor loved coming in after rehearsal to talk to me about a new discovery they made that day, and how it might translate into their look. It became clear that their costumes were more important to their character development than you would usually find in other productions. Then, to add even more fun to the mix, we added tattoos. Multiple actors worked with my assistant to design tattoos based on their characters, and we applied them every night. By the end of the run, we had over 20 costumes for the 11 person cast, many of which belonged to Celimene, who we decided could never been seen wearing the exact same thing twice. It was an incredibly fun experience, full of collaboration, laughter, and red lipstick.

 

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Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene and Conner Skinner as Alceste
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Lindsey Womack as Acaste, Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene, Reed Cook as Clitandre, and Conner Skinner as Alceste. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Lindsey Womack as Acaste. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Julio Torres as Oronte and Cody Edwards as Philante. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Oltman
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Kendal Nibert as Du Bois, Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene, and Conner Skinner as Alceste. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Oltman
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Reed Cook as Clitandre. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Jessica Pherson as Eliante. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Oltman
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Lindsey Womack as Acaste, Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene, Reed Cook as Clitandre, and Chris Patton as The Guard. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Oltman
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Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene and Maddy Fougia as Arsinoe. Photo Credit: Anika Payne

 

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Conner Skinner as Alceste Photo Credit: Elizabeth Oltman

 

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Celimene Hair Trial
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Celimene Hair Trial
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Dani Henricks as Basque. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Cody Edwards as Philinte. Photo Credit: Anika Payne


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Maddy Fougia and Jessica Pherson backstage. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Conner Skinner, Reed Cook, Anika Payne and Cody Edwards backstage. Photo Credit: Maddy Fougia
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Maddy Fougia and Anika Payne backstage. Photo Credit: Reed Cook
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Conner Skinner as Alceste, Cody Edwards as Philinte, and Jessica Pherson as Eliante. Photo Credit: Anika Payne
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Kendal Nibert as Du Bois, Conner Skinner as Alceste and Lizzy Ana Lincoln as Celimene. Photo Credit; Elizabeth Oltman