2016-2017 Season,  Mary Poppins

Colors In Mary Poppins

by Ting Chun Chang, dramaturg

In one of the post-show discussions, there was an audience member who asked us about the color of the costume design. We had a conversation of the concept of the design but none of us knew the exact process of how our costume designer Rory Scanlon developed it. Therefore, I brought the question to Rory and this was his reply.

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In picking colors, I chose the RED for Mary first, giving her the strongest pigment on stage. I wanted Bert and the children to be in the other primary colors, so Bert was BLUE and the children were YELLOW. That left the three secondary colors to fill the full wheel. Because the children are in opposition to their father so much for the show, I put George in Purple and chose ORANGE for Winifred since she is the “in-between” for Mary and the children. PURPLE worked well because throughout history it is the color of wealth because the purple dyes used were some of the most expensive. All these choices of colors left GREEN as the last color, which I left for the Park, since this is where the children, George and Winifred all go to “run away”. You will recall that the Park Keeper was in GREEN, helping represent that color. This gave the full rainbow to the production, perfect for a musical and for our concept that Mary brings color to the world of the play. – Rory Scanlon



One Comment

  • Halle Veysey

    I found the use of color in this production very interesting, especially using complementary colors, purple for George and yellow for the children, to magnify any opposition. The knowledge of the use of color in Mary Poppins would help an audience member more fully understand the role of each character, such as Winifred (in orange) being the in-between character for Mary and the children. I thought the color presented in this production was well thought out and assists the artist in presenting the intended relationships to the audience.

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