Director: Sarah Lacy Hamilton Scenic Design: Alex Casillas Costume Design: Akeem Celestine Lighting Design: Rachel Sather Sound Design: Ryan McElroy Stage Manager: Alexis Hinman
Comments by the Designer
HIR is a story of chaos written by Taylor Mac. Isaac, a marine who is dishonorably discharged and returns home. A stroke has left his father disabled, his mother has created an anti-patriarchal agenda, and his younger sibling has recently come out as transgender. The dark queer comedy examines how one family attempts to break down the patriarchal norm and what to do with those pieces. I wanted to make these characters relatable to a modern audience. The director and I wanted the audience to feel as though this could be their family, so there was a better understanding of the dark humor in the show. I had to convince the audience that these characters could have walked out of their seats and onto the stage. Many of the pieces in the show came from early 2000 fashions.
Paige, Isaac’s mother, has taken it upon herself to be in charge of the household and in doing that she decides that house duties will no longer be on the agenda. She dresses her husband, Arnold, as a clown and makes him protein shakes as sustenance which later in the show gets dumped on Paige. While Max, Isaac’s younger brother, stays on his computer in his room with little to no interaction with others because he is home schooled. I wanted to design Max as a young man that wasn’t ashamed but bruiting.
The most exciting part of this design was discovering who Paige was a mother. I was able to develop Paige’s costume as a woman who went back in time to a moment were, she was happiest. Her costume developed a 1970s feel with the warm toned color palette and mixed patterns. The styling of her hair also added to the chaos of her as a character. Paige lives by the rules of picking clothes of the floor doing a smell check and putting it on for the day. Paige breaks the norm of a stay at home mom and throws normalcy out the door. When Isaac cleans the house, washes the dishes and cooks chicken, his father’s favorite food, chaos once again unfolds.
Overall, I focused on making these characters relatable. Every moment I had, I wanted to push the design further and I did that with accessories.
Copyright 2018 Akeem Celestine