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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shakespeare in the Wild West

Hi folks, I haven't disappeared entirely, I've just been hard at work — I got hired to do costuming for my favorite director's production of Taming of the Shrew and I've been killer busy. He's decided to set it as a Western. We don't have the budget to go authentic Victorian-era Wild West, so my task is to create a Wild West as if it were Wild West on another planet or universe... think that episode of Star Trek Next Gen where Picard and pals visit the wild west planet, or the episode of Firefly with the whorehouse. Or any 1960s western that didn't go authentic on the costume — not High Noon, but within our budget.

I'm hard at work on the costume sketches for the main characters right now. With some 20 ppl in the cast and some costume changes, it'll be wild until it's done. I can't draw to save my life, but I'll upload a few sketches when I have more time.


*Update* Sketches:

For Kate's first outfit, I figured it would be less "girly" than the prissy Bianca's; and the Western chicks had skirts that were split like that in the middle, so they were actually pants, to facilitate riding. I also thought it would help out Kate as she's whisking around the stage. As a contrast I made the wedding dress very feminine and vulnerable, to show that Kate actually is setting herself open and vulnerable and actually wants to get married, so that Petruchio ruining the wedding will make her crash bigger and the audience's sympathy more maybe.

I was thinking that Petruchio when entering Padua and presenting himself as suitor to the dudes and Kate's dad would look sort of respectable and sort of Mel Gibson in Maverick, but when he starts chasing Kate around the stage would doff the hat and jacket and look more like Douglas Fairbanks / pirate Petruchio, so wilder and more sexual. What we now think of as the Renaissance or pirate shirt was still the basic form for a man's shirt in the Wild West, and cowboys often had head-scarves under their hats to absorb the sweat.

We'll see what the director thinks of these first ideas.


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Blogger onlyjokinglasse said...

Hi Anniina, I think your sketches are adorable. Consider your life saved!

June 04, 2007 2:14 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

Oh, what an amazing job. You must be familiar with all the things and fashion of those times...PLUS you have to match it with the characters...and with lots of other circumstances...
sounds interesting !:)

June 04, 2007 6:38 AM  
Blogger emily said...

OMG I loved that episode of STNG! You make me feel like it's okay to be sexy and nerdy!

June 04, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Mophia said...

wowzers... that's quite a task

June 05, 2007 1:02 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Daddy - Thanks!

SF - Thanks, it is FUN!

Emily - Yay! We should found the Sexy Nerd Club. Totally need T-shirts :P

Moph - Yeah, I'm a bit wigged out, but it'll happen, somehow :)

June 05, 2007 8:35 PM  

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