The Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Robert Lopez
Budget for this Design Area
Comments by the Designer
The Book of Mormon is a comedic satire and musical that follows a group of Mormons on their mission trip to Uganda. Upon their arrival they meet locals who struggle to find refuge in God due to crisis’s such as HIV, gangs ruling their village, and female genital mutilation. While trying to convince the Ugandans to become part of the Mormon church, they experience love, friendship, and ultimately learn to become a part of a new culture and create their own path through their religion.
I designed this show as a project in my Costume Design III class during my third semester of graduate school. My focus of this project was to use color and pattern to create unique and bright characters, that fill out the comedic world of the play. Focusing on the colorful Ugandans creates a great juxtaposition with the Mormons, who are in the traditional mission uniform of a white shirt and black pants. To find patterns and garments to I researched what would actually be available to people in a small Ugandan village. Much of what I found was either traditional Ugandan dress, or colorful, modern, Western style clothing. Upon doing this research I decided to use a mix of these elements to create characters that could really exist. A mix of these elements can be seen in the Ugandan ensemble, as well as in Mafala’s costume. Other characters such as, Nabulungi and Dr. Gotswana, have a much more Westernized costume.
In addition to the Ugandan characters and the Mormons, there is a third group of characters who appear in musical numbers, such as Spooky Mormon Hell Dream and Making Things Up Again. These characters include, Jeffrey Dahmer, Johnnie Cochran, Hobbits, dancing skeletons, and many more. While some of these costumes are designed to represent the real life counterpart, many of them are fanciful and their designs are meant to embrace the dream-like moments of the show. They sparkle and do not reflect any of the reality of the Ugandans and Mormons. An example of this would be the demons and skeleton puppets.
While doing this project I was able to not only expand on my ability to research different cultures, but also create costumes that evoke imagination and creativity. I was also able to focus on how to use patterns, as well as how to render them in scale. Overall, this project did not only inform me as a designer, but also as an artist in refining my ability to render my designs well.
Copyright 2018 Chelsea June