Of Course There Must Be Costumes

So you’ve seen the CHART (if not, see video Casting Process with Joe & Tom -June). Costume pieces for a show the size of Nicholas Nickleby number in the hundreds! 

Costume designer Jan Chambers started with the color palette below and began sketching only to end up with hundreds of sketches. I’ve worked in this building for almost 10 years, so you’d think that the level of talent around me wouldn’t really surprise me anymore, but it always does. First McKay’s model and now this amazing costume process!

These following are research images Jan and co-designer Jade Bettin pulled to get a feel for the period.

Below you can see only a child’s handful of the initial “rough” sketches she did as a jumping off point. These were done before casting had even been completed, but notice that many of them are done based on how the 150 roles would be divided among 25 actors. When you see a series of sketches on one sheet, Jan often assumed that one actor would be playing all those roles and sketched accordingly.

In the coming weeks, as we follow the costume process, you’ll hear from Jan directly in a video she was kind enough to do for us. She’ll explain how she tackles a production this large and talk more about the hours upon hours of sketching. You’ll also get to see some of the completed sketches and a sneak peek at some of the costume pieces that have already been pulled. Stay tuned!

Next week, we’ll hear once again from one of our most popular bloggers, PlayMakers Crafts Artisan Rachel Pollock!