When Des Hussey, from Spectral Theatre asked me for some ideas regarding some nymph costumes for one of the short plays he was directing, as part of the anthology of creepy fairy tales, "Tales From the Toadstool", the job quickly ended up in my lap.
This was a great deal of fun; I mean, a king, woodnymphs and a goddess? How could it _not_ be! Not to mention a tree costume, that bleeds and gets chopped down, during the play! I actually think Des and I had a little too much fun on this one...
Note: The masks were made by Des Hussey and Blaze Drezet, and were based on plaster casts made from each of the actors' faces. Make-up design by Lindsey Pilkey.
The narrators of our tale are three wood nymphs, which we dressed as seasons of the year;
The Spring Nymph was dressed in a textured green fabric with a faint sparkle to it, like dewy moss. I sewed a series of spring flowers roaming over it.
The Fall Nymph was wrapped in a couple of large autumn leaves, which I made out of a textured fabric, and sewed a light wire into the veins, and then painted. The entire contraption was attached to a short body stocking, and snapped shut around her body.
The Winter Nymph wore a top and skirt made of a textured fabric that looked like tree bark. I then stencilled spirals all over it with a spray on glitter, to look like frost, which, unfortunately, doesn't come across well in the photographs. Under it she wore a pair of boyshorts she contributed, that were already decorated with strips of shiny fabric and textures, and I added some silver and sequins to make it look like hoarfrost.
The Goddess Ceres wore a sheer, iridescent blouse and matching skirt, with a long wrap of green silk over her breasts. I also loaned her a pair of leaf-covered sandals and made a wreath of glittery leaves for her hair.
Ryan Caron, Vincent Riel, Kris Buller
The villian of the piece was the king, Erysichthon (try saying that three times, fast. Or, at all, really...) who I dressed in a roman tunic of red satin, with gold medallions on his epaulets. His crown was made of buckram covered in gold fabric and covered in jewels. I covered black chinese slippers with scraps from the costume and bits of shiny trim.
His slaves were dressed very simply, in homespun tunics and no shoes. One of the slaves wears a long tunic, because he had to kneel with his back to the audience while Eryischthon beheads him, onstage, and I didn't want to risk him mooning the audience.
The bone of contention in the plot is the sacred tree, the Hamadryad, which Erysichthon sacriligiously chops down.
This costume was really a group effort; Blake Drezet built the stump, Des Hussey did the inital carve of the foam frame of the hat and the branches, and constructed the mechanism by which the tree bleeds when she's first hit by the axe, and I did the design, made the leaves, finished the branches and built the gown.
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