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A special double session from the Costume Design & Technology Commission will help participants look at a classic play in a new way. Plan now to be part of Developing the Costume Design Idea, Take 2.

Illustration/Patricia Martin


Design Session to
Focus on Hamlet

The success of Developing the Costume Design Idea at the 2005 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Toronto has led to encore in Louisville in 2006, Developing the Costume Design Idea, Take 2!

Join Gweneth West of the University of Virginia in welcoming returning working professional costume designers and master teachers Laura Crow of the University of Connecticut, Marianne Custer of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Susan Tsu of Carnegie Mellon University. A new addition to the team is Linda Roethke of Northwestern University. These women will share their unique creative process from initial inspiration to sketch in preparation for an exploration of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Yes, it's Hamlet!

Think of this session as an initial design meeting. You are both designer and director. Re-read Shakespeare's text, even if you think that you remember it. Or read it for the first time. Jot down thoughts about the world of the play, its characters, and their relationships to each other. Begin to translate those thoughts to visual images. Look for images that are more emotional than literal, that create a sense of the milieu.

These may be tear sheets from contemporary magazines, photocopies of photographs or paintings. Spend a bit of time gathering some images of who these people are and how they might connect to a contemporary audience. At the beginning of the session, these will be posted to share.

Bring a love of the play and its characters, initial inspirations to share, and sketching materials. Once participants have a chance to get to know the team of designers, they will break into working groups to explore the play through the sharing of images and discovery of character and character relationships. The session will wrap up with an opportunity to share work with the group.

This time, the event will be a double session so participants will have plenty of time to work together. The first session begins on Saturday morning April 1 at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a short break, and the session will continue at noon wrapping up at 1:30 p.m.

Come, express ideas, and explore new possibilities. Questions? Contact Gweneth West at or 434-924-8965.

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