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The Costumer's Manifesto: Costumes at Theatre UAF 1988-2001 An exhibitionof costumes from the Theatre Department archives designed by AssociateProfessor, and Theatre Dept. Chair, Dr. Tara Maginnis Costumes at Theatre UAF 1988-2001

October 8-10, 2001 An exhibition of costumes from the Theatre Department archives designedby Associate Professor, and Theatre Dept. Chair, Dr. Tara Maginnis, shown inconjunction with the exhibition of materials on display for the UAF University-WideAssessment.This display is in twoparts.Part of the display is locatedwith the rest of the Assessment display in the Wood Center Ball Room andadjacent Conference Room, while the rest of the exhibit continues into theGreat Hall display cases adjacent to the Salisbury Theatre.




1.Costume worn by UAF graduate Tracy Campbell, as The Gypsy in TheGrand Tarot, UAF Student Drama Association Special Presentation, 1997.The skirt of this costume is made from bitsof potholders, and home knitting atrocities.




2.Costume Worn by UAF graduate Brett Good, as Pish-Tush, in TheMikado, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1999.To replicate complex and (ordinarily) heavily embroidered Kabuki theatrecostumes, we cut out the fabric to traditional patterns then used fabric paintsto color in the “embroidery” and glue down bits of fabric mosaic in placeswhere paint would not work.



3.Costume Worn by UAF student Gwendolyn Brasier, as Katisha, in TheMikado, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1999.This costume has butchered bits of a Value Village beaded evening gownsewn over the fabric painting in order to give it a look of brocade and metalembroidery.



4.Mourning Coat and vest worn by former UAF student andcommunity member Andrew Cassell as John Worthing, in The Importance of BeingEarnest, Theatre UAF 2000.This wasworn over a white shirt and black pants with a deep violet tie as part ofJohn’s “Mourning outfit” for the “death” of his fictitious brotherEarnest.I am displaying the coat andvest alone however, because, the sewing on this particular outfit is actuallyrather interesting.My assistantLorraine Pettit realized that the material I wanted would not hold up to stressif made normally, so she built the coat and vest so that all the seams areself-enclosed, or tape-enclosed, rendering this impossible coat materialpossible.




5.Costume worn by UAF Student Heather Maas as Gwendolyn Fairfaxin The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000.The central costume metaphor for this playwas that the costumes were like wedding favors:Translucent, insubstantial, lacy, glittery, decorated with doves,rosebuds, hearts, plastic and ribbon, and if you were to unwrap them, you wouldfind nothing of any substance inside.So the costumes showed all the layers of Victorian underwear but noflesh.Makeup was as white and glitteryas the costumes.Heather managed toturn the scene where she removes a single glove to try on an engagement ringinto a total erotic strip-tease in this context.






6.Costume worn by UAF Graduate Karl Kalen as King Pentheus in TheBacchae, Theatre UAF 1997.Read thesuit.It explains Pentheus’ rigidpriorities in life, which cause his tragic fall.Read the back too.




7.Costume worn by UAF Graduate Brett Good as Cadmus in TheBacchae, Theatre UAF 1997.Cadmusis Pentheus elderly grandfather, who has abdicated in favor of his grandson,and joined the cult of Dionysus.Hestill wears a suit, but his suit shows the nature-cult aspect of his attempt toseamlessly bridge the gap between his Dionysian Priestess daughter, and hisuptight anti-Dionysian grandson.Theoutfit originally also had a tie in the shape of a fish, which has been lost.



8.Costume for the Hierophant in The Grand Tarot, UAFStudent Drama Association Special Presentation, 1997.This character represents religion, and performs a marriage inthis play in an odd amalgamation of Holy-roller and Catholic style.Weirder still, the role was taken by a tinypregnant lady.Even better, it worked.




9.Costume worn by UAF graduate Amanda Williams as The Empress inThe Grand Tarot, UAF Student Drama Association Special Presentation,1997.The Empress represents the femaleaspect both in the sense of sexuality and as an authority figure.She and the Emperor (male equivalent) have aboom chuhka-chuka coo-che dance where they both wiggle their hips with theirmatching padded side hoops and bare midriffs.





10.Costume worn by UAF graduate Amanda Williams as The Angel in TheGrand Tarot, UAF Student Drama Association Special Presentation, 1997.At the end of the play, the actress playingthe Empress transforms from a sexualized, corporeal form (Empress), to aspiritual form (The Angel), representative of the souls of all the characters,and by extension, all living things.She switches costumes and arises out of the center of the group in hernew garments and sings a solo for the finale of the play.




11.Costume worn by UAF graduate Tony Evans as Monastatos in TheMagic Flute, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998.The amazingly garish pattern on the neck of this garment was foundon a pre-existing t-shirt bought for a few dollars at Value Village.The entire costume is built onto thist-shirt.The beaded animal print swagwas made from parts of a top found at a Salvation Army store for $4.




12.Costume worn by Thomas Meano as Tamino in The Magic Flute,Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998.Thehieroglyphics on the flap on the front of the armor read “Tamino”.All the hieroglyphics used on any of thecostumes in this show, including the hundreds spray-painted onto the chorusthat only showed up under black-light, say things that make sense in thecontext of the show and the character wearing the costume.




13.Costume worn by Fairbanks community member Amy Wendt as MissJulie in Miss Julie, Theatre UAF, 2000.This costume shows a rather subtle use of spray dyeing to give slighthighlight and shadow and age to a garment.



14.Jacket worn by Fairbanks community member Bruce Hanson as Kingin A Russian Christmas Tale, Theatre UAF, 1990.This is a more elaborate paint job (feelfree to touch) of a prisoner uniform in a Siberian gulag.The twinkle stuff on the shouldersrepresented ice and snow.This costumewas originally made in plain white, and then layers of dye and paint in about adozen colors were sprayed and brushed on in layers.While a lot of the subtlety was lost over the years when it hadto be washed, you can still get an idea of how much richer a “gray” color youcan create on stage with paint, than simply by buying a gray fabric.



15.Costume worn by UAF student Michael Karoly as the Caterpillarin Alice in Wonderland, Theatre UAF, 1999. This costume was originallybuilt to sit on it’s own mushroom in which the legs were encased, but wasmodified in 2001 for a later production of Alice where the Caterpillarran around on stage.



16.Costume worn by UAF graduate Tony Evans as The God Dionysus inThe Bacchae, Theatre UAF, 1997.Dionysus spends most of the The Bacchae running around indisguise as a comely young man who is a priest of his own cult (and generalchick magnet.)In the last scene howeverhe returns in full scary deity mode full of sound and fury.So we made him a “sound suit” of twigs thatmakes noise when he moves, and a huge headdress that made him two feet taller.The suit weighs 20 lbs. And the head piece 2lbs. And the actor actually LEAPED about the stage in it (splendid man)!



17.Headpiece worn by UAF Graduate Jason Strid, as Uncle Sam in YahooNation, Theatre UAF, 2001.UncleSam is supposed to be tall and skinny.However, it is never enough just to cast a tall skinny actor in therole, even if the actor is, like Jason Strid,7’1”.That just is anopportunity to make the tallest skinniest Uncle Sam on record.So we made a weirdly proportioned suit that“stretched” his apparent height more and added this headpiece, giving us a 9’tall Uncle Sam.



18.Breasts worn by UAF student Ben Thompson as Lady Bracknell, inThe Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000.With translucent costumes for EarnestI very much wanted to underline that gender was a construct of clothing,especially in the case of lady Bracknell who was played by a man.When I found a plastic light cage, that whenopened, almost exactly replicated the form of a 1900 wire frame of a bustimprover, I knew I had found a perfect object to serve as Lady B’s breasts,visible under her dress.


The Costume Exhibit continues in the Regents GreatHall:

19.Mask-Headpiece worn by UAF graduate Tracy Campbell as TheStatue of Liberty in Yahoo Nation, Theatre UAF, 2001.This headpiece lights up.

20.Crown worn by UAF student Michael Karoly as John (playing Creon) in The Island, Theatre UAF, 1996.The Island is a play about two political prisoners putting on ascene from a Greek play in defiance of their captors.The crown of Creon is therefore made from the effluvia availableto two wretched prisoners in a work camp/prison.I used various bottle caps I’d collected from Russia, the U.S.and other countries to keep the location of the prison, non-specific.

21.Shoe worn by UAF student Heather Holzapfel as Pappagena in TheMagic Flute, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998.

22.Wig and hat worn by UAF student Ben Thompson as Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000

23.Mourning Hat worn by Fairbanks community member Andrew Cassellas John Worthing, in The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF,2000.This hat goes with the MourningSuit on display in The Wood Center Ballroom.


24.Headpiece worn by former UAF student Steve Dixon as Pappagenoin The Magic Flute, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998

25.Jacket and vest by UAF student Shannon Luster as AlgernonMontcreif in The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000.This was worn over white pants and shirt,and a pink paisley tie while visiting the country masquerading as “Earnest”.

26.Dress worn by UAF student Phillip Evans as Miss Prism in TheImportance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000. This was worn over acorset, bustle, bloomers and more.

27.Costume Worn by UAF student Michael Karoly as Malvolio in 12thNight, Theatre UAF, 2000.This wasthe yellow costume with stockings he was induced to wear by a forgedletter.In our production we infer heis induced to wear vinyl fetish “sissy maid” clothes.Off stage, the actor named the hat he wore “the reservoir tip”.

28.Group of renderings and photos from The Comedy of Errors,Theatre UAF, 1995.







29.Costume worn by UAF graduate Alex Beaudrault as Antipholus ofEphesus in The Comedy of Errors, Theatre UAF, 1995.All the costumes for The Comedy ofErrors were pulled or bought at thrift stores and painted with fabricpaints to get their outlandish look, not elaborately pieced, or made from hardto find fabrics.

30.Book of renderings for The Threepenny Opera, TheatreUAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1997.

Costume Renderings

31.Group of renderings and photos from The Mikado, TheatreUAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1999.







32.Group of renderings and photos from The Grand Tarot,UAF Student Drama Association Special Presentation, 1997.







33.Costume worn by UAF student Christy Burgess as The Fool in TheGrand Tarot, UAF Student Drama Association Special Presentation, 1997.The symbols on the pockets representimportant aspects of the Tarot.

34.Group of renderings and photos from Yahoo Nation,Theatre UAF, 2001.






35.Group of renderings and photos from Alice in Wonderland,Theatre UAF, 1999.


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36.Group of photos from The Magic Flute,Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998.

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37.Headpiece worn by UAF student Heather Holzapfel as Pappagenain The Magic Flute, Theatre UAF/Opera Fairbanks, 1998.This headpiece was made of coat hangers,masking tape, poster board, tissue paper, glue, and lots of bits and pieces.

38.Jacket for Hymen the God of Marriage in As You Like It,Theatre UAF, 1988, later converted for GreaseThis jacket was intended to represent a Jimmy Hendrix type Rockand Roll God, and originally had a collar on it that lit up

39.Group of renderings and photos from The Importance of BeingEarnest, Theatre UAF, 2000.



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40.Wig and hat worn by UAF Student Heather Maas as GwendolynFairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre UAF, 2000.This wig is sculpted from buckram (starchimpregnated cloth).

41.Various Costume bits from Much Ado About Nothing,Theatre UAF, 1991.The bits don’t tellyou much, the drawings and photos in the case, do.

42.Group ofrenderings and photos from Much Ado About Nothing, Theatre UAF, 1991.


This Page is part of The Costumer's Manifesto, originally founded by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. from 1996-2014, now flying free as a wiki for all to edit and contribute. Site maintained, hosted, and wikified by Andrew Kahn. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. You may print out any of these pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, or wall displays. You may link to any page in this site.