Monte Cristo in Costume

by Holly Mancuso, dramaturg

As part of director Tim Threlfall’s concept for The Count of Monte Cristo, this show features a mix of contemporary and more traditional elements. It has many aspects that fit in with the time periods depicted (1810s-1830s), but everything is stylized and modernized. This melding of modern and historical required collaboration between designers to find areas where the various styles can emerge. In this production,  the costumes tend to show a more traditional look, while lighting, hair, make-up, choreography, and set design contribute to the stylized aesthetic of our show.

Our costume designer Lara Beene has researched costume and dress of the the 1810s and the 1830s in France and Italy. Using these as guides, she elaborated and embellished in her designs to add to the lavish and rich nature of the costumes. This show uses hundreds of costume pieces for the 36 cast members, and all have been carefully designed or selected to fit into the overall feel of the show. Here we feature some of the original drawings (renderings) used for the costumes.

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

Jacopo

Jacopo

Mercedes' first costume

Mercedes’ first costume

Three pirate costumes, designed by Lara Beene

Three pirate costumes

Three ball gowns, featuring swatches of the fabric used in the dresses

Three ball gowns, featuring swatches of the fabric used in the dresses

A rough rendering of a ball gown costume, featuring edits and updates

A rough rendering of a ball gown costume, featuring edits and updates

Actors have frequent fittings in the costume shop to ensure that all the outfits fit well, look good, and allow movement. Since there is so much dancing and action throughout the play, costumes need to be flexible and not too restrictive. The talented people in the shop spend hours making sure each piece is just right, helping to create a visually appealing production.

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