by Jessica Bedford
Directed by James Ijames
Inspired by the sisters Agave and Semele, who became the respective mothers of Pentheus and Dionysus, Jessica Bedford's delightful play gave me a chance to design Greek sisters in a world of quarantine and Zoom chats. In early conversations with James, we spoke about creating a world that blends Greek and contemporary references with delightful ease. For Semele, I designed a custom-dyed gown that blends a draped Greek bodice with a tiered flowing skirt, inspired by the yellow ruffled dress in Beyonce's Lemonade. Because each of the actresses was Zooming in from her own house, I wanted to create deep visual contrasts between each sister. The actresses came together after filming to capture more photos of their costumes, which I've included here.
The Bakkhai; or I'm trying so hard to be good
Actress Dee thinks she's gotten her big break to Broadway when she's called back for a one-one audition with artistic director Ilana, but things get weird fast when Ilana gets called out online for not standing up to an actor abusing producer.
Taking place entirely in a Zoom call, this piece called me to focus on the actors from the shoulders up, considering both work-from-home comfort and audition fashion, as well as the relative privilege and lack of privilege that these characters have in the audition room.
by Alix Rosenfeld
directed by Tai Verley
Dionte and Khai Do Dinner
In this piece, Dionysus and Pentheus become Dionte and Penn. Dionte and his wife Khai are cool, young Black academics, and Penn... works in business. Split between reality-TV-style confessionals and a tense dinner party, this piece gave me a chance to design two sides to each character-- the relaxed, "at home" version, and the presentational version. In discussions with Malika, we discussed how little Penn felt he needed to dress up for this dinner, and how much Dionte and Khai were pressured into perfection. This piece was partially filmed live and in-person during a socially-distanced outdoor shoot.
by Megan Schumacher
directed by Malika Oyetimein
by Zandra Espinoza
directed by Cat Ramirez
Stuck in quarantine, Cecily and Nadia connect over Zoom calls. To break up the monotony, they agree to video into DJ Dion's online dance party, Club eXXXstasis.
Due to the pandemic, this design was pieced together from items I provided, as well as items from the actor's own closets. What we created together is an exciting mix of the actor's personal aesthetics, based on my own rendering of each actor's character. The DJ Dion club look was designed and created by me, with actor Ang Bey doing their fabulous gold makeup from home.
She Makes Knives Now
by Mark Costello
Directed by James Ijames
This poetic solo piece places Agave years into her exile, processing her previous royal life and her current nomadic existence. The piece places Agave in a secluded basement, telling her story to a personal camera.
The textual complexity of the piece called me to simplify Agave's costume to the bare essentials-- worn and hemmed jeans, lace up boots, a t-shirt dress, a closely-held ring, and a warm, worn-in cardigan. It was important to James and I that Agave retain some of her royal elegance, despite her modest digs. The dress length tee nods at a previous life while being utilitarian in her present.