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Muazzez performance

The Great Plains Theater Conference takes place every year in Omaha, NE.  Theater folks from all over come in for this event.  This year was my first year being part of this theater conference, so I really didn’t know what kind of audience to expect.  I did know that there were tons of performances, script readings and workshops through the conference and I heard they were all really well-attended.  The performances took place at a different venue each night and they were all at nontraditional settings for theater: a night club, an old train station, an art gallery, on a prairie hill, on top of a parking garage, and outdoors.

House of Loom becoming a full house.

I was asked to do some costuming for the performance at House of Loom, which is a night club south of the Old Market.  It is a local nightlife spot with a great vibe that I really love, so I was excited to see it function as a theater venue for a night.

Local band Gus & Call wrote the score for this performance.  They are outstanding musicians.  I was in love with all the sounds that were in this production.  They even built a wine bottle xylophone-type instrument for the show!

Gus & Call performs the score they wrote for Muazzez.

Custom-made wine bottle xylophone rack.

The play was Muazzez by Mac Wellman.  I loved being a part of this production.  Everyone was so easy to work and there was a great deal of talent involved.  Timothy Siragusa is an actor, performer and artist from Omaha and he is outrageously talented.  It was like magic watching him rehearse.  Put Tim on a stage and it’s pretty much instant captivation.  Hand him a stellar costume, throw on some lights and have a band play an incredible score while he performs a Mac Wellman script and Tim Siragusa is unstoppable.

Timothy Siragusa takes the stage.

Timothy Siragusa has the stage taken from him by a scene-stealer.

SO MUCH EMOTION!

Great Plains Theater Conference: http://www.mccneb.edu/gptc/gptc2012.asp
http://www.facebook.com/GreatPlainsTheatreConference

 
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Posted by on 06.07.12 in Costumes

 

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Costume Design for Avant Garde Theater: Muazzez

As part of the 2012 Great Plains Theater Conference, I was asked to costume a Mac Wellman play.  It is titled Muazzez, from a larger piece of work called A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds.  This was my first encounter with a Mac Wellman script and I quickly learned that he is infamous for stories that poke fun at our culture using an eclectic set of vocabulary, outlandish themes and heavy underlying topics.  Muazzez lives up to everything I was warned about. It was cool to be asked to costume this avant garde play, because I was also just chosen to present a clothing collection in an avant garde runway show.  Avant garde plays! Avant garde runway shows! Avant garde everything!

Costume illustration for Muazzez.

Muazzez takes over my studio workspace.

Muazzez is about an abandoned cigar factory on another planet.  I assumed that I’d be costuming the people that make up the workforce in the factory, but the actor IS the cigar factory.  I loved that the costuming concept could really go ANY direction: literal, crazy, minimalistic, whatever.  I created an outfit that conveys the “noble king of nothing” personality of the character, but also encompasses the look of my clothing brand.  Because the script creates a costuming opportunity that is so open to interpretation, I decided I could go ahead and infuse my costuming work with my brand’s aesthetic for this project.

Typical Audio Helkuik aesthetic: Accessorizing the accessory.

Stylized handstitching.

I also did makeup design for this production.  The actor’s  neck, fingertips and soles of his feet were to be painted black.  I always do a practice run of the makeup before the day of the show and typically I practice on myself.

Sketch of foot makeup.

Painting my foot for practice.

Painted foot: Muazzez body makeup design

Watching the rehearsals for this production were a treat.  The performance venue, House of Loom, is such a cool space, which is great since we all spent alot of time here working on Muazzez.  Reading scripts, coming up with concepts, creating the outfits and watching them come to life (with a great Gus & Call soundtrack!) is so fun, especially when you get to work with great people along the way.

Watching the Muazzez rehearsals at House of Loom.

 
 

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