debbieBAER

debbieBAER

Costume Designer

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The Wiz and Scenery

Collette Pollard, a fellow House Theatre company member, is the scenic designer for the Wiz. We’ve been working together since the pre-grad school days and I think we’re on our way to developing a signature collaborative aesthetic. Our personal tastes form the basis of this aesthetic–Collette has an eye for contemporary, clean, and sleek lines and I’m usually drawn to a more chaotic and colorful playfulness. As a team one of our strengths is integrating these distinct styles to create ┬ábeautiful, functional, and cohesive worlds that visually support the story telling on stage. We of course design each show specifically to serve each story, but I think overall our work together always carries a sense of lightness and balance. We also share an eagle-eyed attention to detail which allows the worlds we create to always feel fully realized because we consider and design even the smallest elements.

The Wiz gives Collette and I great opportunity to put our heads together. There is a very large cast, which means the bodies in space on stage will actually become a scenic element, which in turn means costume and scenic choices become even more relevant for both of us. We spent the evening going through the show scene by scene to figure out how set and costume pieces can combine to create the feeling of each location It is very much a the-whole-is-bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts design. The only visual evidence I have of our meeting is the picked over spread of snacks I layed out for us to eat. Posting that feels like kind of a let down after talking about how pretty our work together is, so instead I’ll post a picture of our most recent collaboration, Rose and the Rime. I can’t post this image without giving props to our lighting designer, Lee Keenan. Costumes and lights, now that can be another blog post. (Also, maybe now that I’m thinking about it I’ll finally post all the Rose production photos on my site…)

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