I am the Costume Designer for this production.
How do the costumes in I and You reflect the lives of their respective characters?
Our two characters are contemporary high school students living their lives on one specific day. Caroline’s world is bounded physically by the walls of her bedroom and her illness but is also infinite thanks to her phone, wifi, internet, and dreams. Anthony arrives from the outside world of school, sports, and looming American Lit assignments with his own realities and dreams. I hope to express each of them visually.
What questions do you ask yourself early on when designing costumes for a show?
In the earliest stages of designing a show I want to know why (and who) the characters are. I read the script. And I read the script. I might read the script several times, looking for the clues, the subtext, the flavor of the individuals. I want to know where they are in their lives, how they got there, and where are they going. I think about them on pages that the playwright hasn’t written for us. I also think a lot about the practical elements of clothing choice and how those choices serve the characters and the rhythm of the script.
Did the designs end up changing much from what you had originally planned?
When I originally read the play I had not had the opportunity to speak to the other members of the artistic team. Those initial thoughts, while an interesting academic exercise, were too cumbersome for our actual staging. When I committed pencil to drawing paper I incorporated visual influences from all the high school students I encounter, elements that suited both characters and details to stay true to my original thoughts.
What do you like about I and You, and why do you believe theatre is important?
I was attracted to this play because of the characters and their story. My reaction after reading the play for the first time was immediate … I wanted very much to share this with our audience. Theatre is important to hold a lens up to life; it magnifies, focuses and reflects our realities. Please come share I and You with me.