Guided by the meticulous fingers of student costume designers, heaps of fabric swirl around room 2321 in Ophelia Parrish as theatre professor Nikki Glaros alters, sews and purchases 120 outfits for a cast of 19 actors and actresses. Glaros oversees the students and costume pieces in her office with a few problematic dresses draped on her desk that need tending to. At this point, there are only a few days left for her to finish.
Glaros said she wants to challenge the audience’s expectation of “Hamlet,” which is typically medieval and full of dark colors. She said the costume crew is experimenting with color and incorporated a lot of different eras into the style of the costumes to create a timeless effect.
“I’m hoping [the audience] will be overwhelmed by the richness and sumptuous nature of King Claudius’ court, which we want to be in stark contrast with Hamlet’s court, which is austere and dutiful,” Glaros said. “Hopefully it will look like poor, grieving Hamlet is surrounded by an excessive party that he doesn’t want to be at.”
While the costumes might not be the main focus of the play, Glaros said it’s not her goal as a costume designer to have the audience only stare at the costumes the whole night. She said adding costumes to the actors’ performances makes the theater production a collaborative experience. She said even if the costumes don’t take main stage, they contribute to the whole picture.
Glaros said one challenge with the costumes for “Hamlet” is finishing a large amount of costumes in a short amount of time. She said instead of viewing short time line as a challenge, it gives designers the opportunities to get creative.
To learn more about the elaborate costumes for the upcoming play “Hamlet,” pick up the latest issue of The Index or click here to read online.