A Kingdom Jack'd
Director: Luke White Scenic Design: Merric Bower Costume Design: Akeem Celestine Lighting Design: Will Borich Sound Design: Colten Langfitt Stage Manager: AJ Near
David Thayer Theatre
Budget for this Design Area
Comments by the Designer
A Kingdom Jack’d in 2018 at the University of Iowa New Play Festival; another play written by Scott Bradley from the University of Iowa. The show is set in the 1400s, A Kingdom Jack’d is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. King Richard has been replaced by Jack Falstaff who is famous for his roguish attitude. The crown of England is in the wrong hands which inspire different factions of the kingdom to threaten his reign. In the end the least expecting person takes the crown.
This show was a challenge because of the period costumes, sword fighting and cast playing multiple characters. I incorporated period details as much as possible, while also giving the actors clothing that accommodated their sword fight choreography. I was tasked to make these heavy garments flexible enough to fight in and change out of quickly. With a budget of $200 and 26 costumes that could only be dry- cleaned, I had no budget left over to have duplicates of costumes if they ripped or got too sweaty from all of the choreography on a two-show day. To make this show happen all characters had at least one costume piece that helped actors playing two characters look different. I was able to dive later into the 1400-1600s. The design began to embody the French Renaissance which incorporated a lot of color into the design and that was exciting. The cast wore contemporary dance flats and athletic cups as protective pieces in the show to also make it safe for actors to run around on stage with swords and shields in their hands.
By opening up the time period we set, I was able to make references to great moments in early fashions. With the abundance of characters and small amount of time available. I think the overall design of the show was fun, exciting, flashy, and satisfied the script.
Overall, I was able to incorporate different silhouettes and a vast amount of color into this production. A Kingdom Jack’d was particularly challenging because of the older garments, the wear and tear began to show in the costumes. With quick mending the actors were able to handle their quick change and make it all work.
Copyright 2018 Akeem Celestine