Director: Joseph Osheroff
Stage Manager: Clarice Kelling
Scenic Designer: Savanna Genskow
Costume Designer: Chelsea June Regan
Lighting Designer: Emily Haywood
Sound Designer: Joseph Osheroff
Mask Designer: Joseph Osheroff
Budget for this Design Area
Comments by the Designer
Visual Mixtape debuted as part of the 2017/2018 Gallery Series. The production was a devised work that was inspired from a series of songs compiled by director Joseph Osheroff. Each song created a vignette of movement, dance and actions to tell a series of stories, that added to a greater narrative and the overall mood which evoked classic B horror films. The structure of the songs was composed in same way that a cassette mixed tape would be, creating an emotional rhythm and flow to the piece.
For the costume design of this production, I wanted to give each song a unique look while supporting the designs of the masks and allowing them to play a large part in the character design. To balance the elements of the masks and costumes I gave each actor a base look of all black and would add and remove costume pieces for each song. This allowed a great amount of flexibility to the look of each song while keeping the costumes fairly simple and allowing the masks to shine. Since the costume pieces were limited in quantity, the color, texture, and shape of them was highly important. Each of these elements had to be considered greatly as it allowed the audience to determine who and what the characters were and how the existed in the setting.
One song that Osheroff was particular interested in was “She Blinded Me with Science,” by Thomas Dolby. In the vignette of this song, Osheroff was interested in creating a scene that was reminiscent of the 1986 film The Fly. In this vignette, three actors would play the same character, stationed in different areas of the set to create an illusion of teleportation and eventually a transformation into a fly creature. To support this, I had to make three actors of different body shapes appear to be one person. To aid in this, I used a large lab coat that hid most of the body along with the same pair of glasses to create the illusion that this was truly one actor appearing and disappearing in different areas of set within mere moments. This lab coat also hid the seams of the fly mask to make it seem as though the mask was an extension of the actor’s body rather than someone being worn.
For this show I had a budget of $100 for the costumes, while we had additional grant funding for the materials to make the masks. There was a cast of 10, with 50 costumes, and over 70 masks. I alone, pulled, bought and altered all of the costumes in the show. I also single handedly crewed the show, due to the complexity of the costumes and the changes. While the director already had several masks built for the show, I aided him in the creation of many of the masks, with a particular focus on the larger latex masks, including the Fly, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon masks. Osheroff had not previously worked with molding or casting full 3D sculptures, whereas I have quite a lot of experiences with this from my undergraduate sculpture degree. I used this knowledge to mold Joe’s sculptures, creating mother molds (a mold that is built in pieces, so it can be taken apart and reconstructed without any damage, allowing the mold to be used multiple times). Once these molds had been built and set, we were able to mix batches of latex, and pour them into the molds, removing the molds once the latex had set to reveal the mask within. I then took these masks to, Hayley Ryan, to who used airbrush techniques to paint them.
Overall for this design, I used the approach of supporting the story and masks with simple costumes and accessories to create a clear and interesting visual.
Copyright 2020 Chelsea June