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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: How to Begin
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How to Begin

The best thing to do to start a costume design is to read the script a few times. Having an understanding of the motivations, actions and outlook of the characters is essential to effective costume design. Often many images of how the cast should be costumed will come to mind after these initial readings. The director and design staff should also be consulted to understand their views of the characters.

Once the characters of the production are understood, the next step should be determining things to accentuate and decentuate with each character and actor. For example, if a character is heroic, it is common to costume them such that their form is seen as triangular -- very strong at the top. Age can be accentuated by creating the illusion of additional body weight in different places. Young men tend to be skinny while men in their late 20's or 30's generally start to take on some weight. Young women are often viewed as having flowing lines while older women are often depicted as being heavier on top. If a woman is to play the role of a child, the top half of her body should be decentuated (with an ace bandage).

next up previous contents index
Next: Color Up: Design Previous: Design   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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