Please explain what you do in this production.
I’m the head of design which is a fancy way of saying that I plan the costumes, borrow and buy what i can and sew or craft what I can’t find. I also work with other people in our team like our Head of Makeup to make the costumes and the rest of the play work together.
Is this your first time working with MTT?
This is my second MTT production, the other being Gallathea. I got involved in theatre because I want to become an English and German teacher and I hated theatre. I strongly believe that it is easier to learn if your teacher is passionate about the subject matter I challenged myself to get involved in theatre. I have no talent for acting but I have loved sewing and art since I can remember so I went with that. It worked almost too well and I fell in love certain kinds of theatre. I can hardly imagine my life without it.
What do you like about your work?
I think there is a beauty in sewing and crafting, in being thrifty and finding just the right piece for just the right price. It’s like a puzzle!
I also believe that costumes can express or help express certain things in a drama. Clothes can turn a man into a sleazy creep, a wholesome father figure or a handsome love interest. They can show emotions and relationships, help immerse the viewer in the play.
As you can tell I could talk about my passion for costumes and sewing for hours!
How do you go about your work?
I usually get the general theme set for me like ‘1990s’ or ‘film noir’. I try to consume media that work with the aesthetic and form an idea of what it looks like. Then I read the play to learn about the characters and take notes of my impressions. This usually happens before the first read through. As I get to know the characters as portrayed by our actors and take stock of what we have in our archive and attics I keep sketching the characters and make the actors try on their outfit over and over again until everything is stitched, glued and combined to my satisfaction.
Where does our inspiration come from?
My inspiration stems from different sources, especially movies and series, but also from little treasures I find along the way. I might draw my inspiration from a pattern on a handkerchief or from an abstract idea like ‘femme fatale’, from a movie costume or someone’s new hair cut. I am most influenced by vintage fashion and budget constrains. A 5€ budget is more inspirational to me than a 5000€ budget because it forces me to really put my mind into it.
Is there anything in particular you want to achieve in this production?
I want the audience to feel immersed in a fictional, aesthetically hightened version of history. I would like them to enjoy the oldest, cheesiest tropes in the book and a centuried old play while still feeling like they are watching something new and exciting. Most off all I want our audience to be entertained.
What do you find interesting about Arden?
Arden is such an interesting play because it has a lot of surprisingly modern parts like a funmy play about murder but it also follows older conventions of how characters and stories should work. I love how very different characters are all draw into this conspiracy until there is no way out.
What do you like about this production?
I work with a team that is very supportive of me and my work. If I have an idea I can ask someone on the production team ‘hey, how about this?’ and instead of telling me that my work is my responsibility they will engage with me and my ideas, offer advice and inspiration. I also adore the aesthetic we are going for.
Why do you think Elizabethan Drama is still relevant today?
I used to be disinterested in drama and couldn’t see the appeal. I started appreciating drama once I started working with Shakespeare and later Lyly. So if Elizabethan drama could turn this former theatre-hater into someone who works on costumes until 3am, giggles about century old jokes and watches actual theatre performances on purpose, there has to be something about it. Elizabethan theatre is entertaining, not just for the elite but for the masses. It uses highly structured language but it’s still fun and expressive and emotional.
What makes good theatre in your opinion?
Good theatre should be interesting, it should immerse you in a story and make you invested in what’s happening on stage. If I wanted to watch people I don’t care about engage in petty drama I would watch a reality show or go on a tram ride at 11pm.