What we wear (whether we like it or not) influences what people think of us. Our brains are designed to label and categorize information as quickly as possible. I’ve heard that in the first 90 seconds of having met someone, we’ve already jumped to various subconscious conclusions about their personality – solely based on their outward appearance. This means that costume designers are under a lot of pressure.
If so much of what we think about a person can be affected by their clothing, a costume can really shape how the audience views a character. If working with our preconceptions about fashion wasn’t enough, designers have to find clothes that fit the Director’s vision, customize costumes to suit the many shapes and sizes of the actors, and, if you are working with a small social justice theatre troupe, it all has to fit within a very tight budget.
Luckily for Theatre of the Beat, we have a Rebecca Steiner.
Becca is the Queen of the Thrift: while miraculously keeping our shoe-string budget in tact, she can leave a charity shop with finds that make Louis Vuitton look like a Boxcar Hobo. She also possesses the uncanny ability to hold up a piece of clothing and know whether or not it will fit us like a custom-tailored glove without ever measuring us. It’s really quite remarkable.
Needless to say, under Becca’s watchful eye, Forgiven/Forgotten is slowly taking shape; this skeleton of a play is beginning to dote some fine looking flesh! Not only has she found some great clothes for the play, but she also has some really cool ideas regarding colour and design for the show. Becca has stepped up to meet the complex (and fairly diverse) needs of Forgiven/Forgotten, and she’s doing it in style.