Director: Patrick Du Laney Scenic Design: Kenton Jones Costume Design: Akeem Celestine Lighting Design: Ted Brown Sound Design: Wade Hampton Stage Manager: Lindsay Warnick
Comments by the Designer
Seed, written by Scott Bradley, is a new work with two characters, set in rural Iowa in 2017. Bud, who is a middle age agronomist, checks into a small-town motel while he is searching for answers to his son disappearance. Bud meets a teenage boy, Holler, who knew Bud’s son. As Bud and Holler get to know each other a series of events lead to physical altercations and genetic experimentation. Similar to genetically modified crops, both must change with the environment to survive.
This show was incredibly exciting and challenging to work on. I started my design process by looking at research of everyday Midwestern men. My goal was achieving a realistic aesthetic of these characters without mocking or stereotyping them. After finding modern silhouettes that fit these two characters. I then began looking into color palettes for Bud and Holler. What I like about the use of color in costume design is the subtle ways to connect color to characteristics.
Buds color palette was inspired by autumn colors. I looked into mustard colors and rustic reds. Bud is a character that blends into his surroundings, he does not stand out for any particular reason. I developed a look for Bud in a color palette that allowed him to blend in the motel room walls. On the other hand, Holler’s color palette was inspired from a completely different inspirations. As a young queer character, Hollers color palette came from queer social media dating apps (Grindr, Tinder, and Scruff). These dating apps are popular among queer male identifying persons looking for like-minded company. These color palettes do not fit into the same color story very much like Bud and Holler don’t fit into the say social groupings.
Major events in Seed transpire in a one evening and the costumes were used as a tool to tell as much information about Bud and Holler as possible. For example, Bud is a complex character that has exhausted himself with thoughts of his missing son. I approached Bud’s costume in layers that slowly peeled away much like the walls he has built up. Bud begins the show wear a vest, flannel, long john shirt, cargo pants and boots. All of these pieces weighed down the Bud and almost suffocated him similarly to how Bud feels in the play. Seed was the catalyst for my work with theatrical blood at the University of Iowa. Finding ways to incorporate blood into the production took time and thought. The costumes had to be machine washable to remove blood stains and look fresh for the next show.
Overall, I found garments that helped develop the Bud and Holler as characters. I chose color and different silhouettes as a way to show the difference between their age and state of mind.
Copyright 2016 Akeem Celestine