by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg
The other day I visited the basement of the HFAC, known for its labyrinth-like feel and lack of sunlight (there are no windows). I navigated the halls until I arrived at the Costume Studio. I was curious as to what was going on in terms of costume making for Phantom. There are three design teams working on the costumes for our production.
One team is working on the costumes found in the three operas within the musical. The first opera is Hannibal. This is the scene where we return to the opera house and Carlotta is singing. During this practice the new opera owners enter: André and Fermin. The second opera scene is Il Muto. This opera is where the Phantom plays a prank on Carlotta and Joseph Buquet goes sky diving. The third opera within the musical is Don Juan, the Phantom’s own musical for Christine Daaé. Chelsea Roberts, a current BYU undergraduate, is the designer for this project.
A second crew is working on costumes designed by Janet Swenson, a recently retired faculty member, and Angela Robinson, a current BYU student. They have designed the “every day” costumes, or clothing worn by the characters when they aren’t “performing” in one of the three operas within the musical.
The third costume crew is building the quintessential masquerade scene. If you’ve seen the production before, or even the movie, you know the masquerade scene is full of lavish costumes. This team is headed by designer Deanne DeWitt, the Assistant Manager of the Costume Studio, and Desirée Moss, a current BYU undergraduate. These are really neat costumes. I’ll let you have a peak.
Donnette Perkins is in charge of the costume shop. Think of her like Morgan Freeman’s character in Batman. She oversees all aspects of the shop, including hiring talented students and being responsible for all products that end up leaving the costume shop. She is a very integral part of Phantom as the overseer of all three teams. What a job!
We hope you appreciate the work that goes into the costume makers of the production team for Phantom of the Opera. When you come to the show you will always see their work as each actor is on stage. You won’t be disappointed.