by Amelia Johnson, Dramaturg Creating a show is a process. Though the run of the show is over, there was a lot more that went into the show than what was seen in those few weeks. Months before the run, the production team began meetings. They discussed the director’s vision for the show and began planning designs. Everything was approved of and discussed before lights were set, sets, were built, and the costume and makeup designs were implemented. This year, the costume and makeup designers drew inspiration from the local artist, James Christensen. Having passed away earlier this year, director Dallyn Bayles thought it would be nice to pay tribute to him in this way. Costume designer Dennis Wright was thrilled to base his designs of Christensen's style.
He said, “What I really love about Christensen’s work is the whimsy that he incorporates into his characters. His distinctive use of patterns, layers and silhouette is really fun and distinctive. I wanted to be sure to capture that in the costume designs for this production. “I love this show, and the concept and design choices our team has made. I am excited to share it with our audience. As a big James Christensen fan, my one regret is that I didn’t actually get to meet the artist in person. I just returned to Utah last year and sadly, missed my chance. I am very grateful to be able to pay tribute to him in this small way”. Makeup and hair designer Sarah Bult also shared some of her thoughts. “After reading the script I looked through as many James Christensen paintings as I could find. I picked out textures, colors, broke it all down and paired certain characters with those elements. His artwork influenced everything from the shape and colors of hair down to the detail on the bead work of the hairpins. I loved that I could draw my inspiration from his work and create something that really embodied his artwork."
Bult continued, “One thing I didn’t expect to be a challenge was that not many Christensen pieces have hair showing. This created a very unique and fun challenge for me. I had to look many different paintings, combine textures and colors, and use my own design style to come up with fun fairy tale hair and makeup styles that were reminiscent of Christensen’s artwork. I am very excited to see how all of the elements come together”. Join us on the 4th Wall next time to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes!