King Lear Behind the Scenes: the Costume Shop

The costumes for Indiana University South Bend’s King Lear have a futuristic concept (think Hunger Games or Blade Runner) that will make striking use of technology through collaboration with the New Media department.
“The costumes are a mix of different time periods,” said Jason Resler, Assistant Professor of Costume Design, who designed the pieces for the show. “There is a lot of 1980s and Elizabethan. The show has a dark, murky, underground feel, so the bright Hunger Games style costumes for the characters of the elite should provide an interesting contrast.”
Sean Hottois, Assistant Professor of New Media, is working with the costume department to integrate technology into the costumes—putting computers within costumes for certain effects, and creating parts of costumes on the computer and then printing them on a 3D printer.
“We’re experimenting with a lot of things,” said Resler.
One of the new experiments involves the program being a sustainable show, where possible. What this means for the costumes is that they are making alterations to costumes and mostly using fabric that is already in stock.“For example, the British knights in the play will be wearing camouflage that we already have,” said Resler.
The show is providing design technology students a patterning opportunity for their professional portfolios, noted Costume Shop Manager and Lecturer in Costume Technology Aimee Cole.
“Three students are creating patterns for the costumes of the three daughters [Regan, Goneril, & Cordelia]. What this means is they take Jason’s two-dimensional sketches and the actors’ measurements and create the patterns for the costumes.”
The students creating these patterns are working with the six other students in the Costume Shop who do the garment alterations and creations.The photos above are just a small sampling of the pieces that will be worn during the show (and do not yet feature the technology element). Be sure to check out the fantastic student performances (and beautiful costumes) Oct. 17 through Oct. 20 in the Campus Auditorium. To learn more about the play, please visit: text from IU South Bend facebook page for one book one campus


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