Of Farms and Fables combines the efforts of professional and non-professional artists by engaging artists in farm work and farm workers in storytelling and acting. The result will be an original performance in October of 2011 which will engage performers and audience in dialogue about local agriculture, farming, and the future of small family farms in Maine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dressing the Character (Renee)

As the weather has gotten colder and the leaves have started to change into their brilliant Autumn colors, I've been living in the summer-time world of Of Farms and Fables. The lovely photographs taken at Broadturn, Benson and Jordans Farms have been an invaluable reference for me while designing the costumes for OFAF. The colors found on the farms and clothing choices of the farm workers inspired me just as much as the script which Cory Tamler lovingly wrote.

For me, rough sketches are a form of brainstorming, they're quick, far from a finished product and a way for me to come up with a design road map for a production. Here are some of the rough, preliminary costume sketches done for OFAF:

While working on the final OFAF costume design sketches, the characters started to become more defined after conversations with the Director and final casting decisions made. Here are the final costume renderings:

One of the most interesting, and potentially, complex element of the production's costumes are the wings made of weeds which the entire cast wears at the end of the play.

The fantastical moment created a very real challenge for me as I problem solved ways to construct the wings. After exploring some different ideas, we settled on the "cape-style" weed wings made out of jute erosion cloth:

The erosion cloth made out jute, a natural hardy fiber, appealed to me for a couple of reasons. Erosion cloth is used in farming and landscaping, it's inexpensive and best of all, when pulled apart, can be used to create the look of long weeds.

Coming up Next: Experimenting with paint and dye techniques and sewing the wings!