Act I: Play Synopsis & Costume Plot
Throughout Actor's Nightmare, a disoriented George Spelvin, with no recollection of his identity or how he ended up at the theater, is told he must go on for one of the actors, who he supposedly understudied, injured in a car accident. Cast into scenes from familiar plays, George remains confused and unsure of his lines - the actors know him, but he clearly does not know them. Danger and hilarity ensues.
|Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...|
Next, George appears as Hamlet and is left to deliver a monologue where everything from Romeo & Juliet, to A Streetcar Named Desire, and to A Tale of Two Cities is quoted. Hamlet, left, wears a purple striped doublet, symbolic of his princely status, while the loyal Horatio is on the right.
Both doublets were created from vests with ruffles, trim and velvet pieces added to make them look more Shakespearean. Both velvet caps were made by me as well - just a large circles of velvet gathered and enclosed by a wide band. Curled plumes, a Chinese coin and beading were added for decoration.
Abruptly, the scene changes to Beckett Lighting as the still confused actor is told to climb into his trash can and count his blessings. This costume was fun to pull together - especially the wig which I styled with a shower cap and curlers.
Finally, the play comes to an end in A Man for All Seasons. And, well, you all know what happens...
|The End. Come again soon!|
George Spelvin, the main character, needed Hamlet, Shakespearean attire. He remains on stage for a majority of the play - therefore, I wanted to make his costume both attention-grabbing and stand out. I paid careful attention to the construction and broke from the black/white/red color scheme - setting the disoriented, out-of-place actor further apart.
The Tudor inspired dress - or the two-in-one dress - was created for the actress doubling as Queen Gertrude (Hamlet) and Lady Alice (A Man for All Seasons). Just switching the accessories made the quick change a piece of cake!
Dress notes: The first steps I took were to cut a square neckline, insert a new zipper ,and bind the raw edge with brown bias tape. The neckline and sleeve trim was created from lace (from my stash) and sparkly orange trim (thrifted from another dress). For Queen Gertrude, I stitched a hemmed length of the orange brocade onto more of the sparkly trim - instant new look! The finished dress was worn over a crinoline for the performances.
|Queen Gertrude (Hamlet)|
|Lady Alice (A Man for All Seasons)|