Seven Spots on the Sun
Director: John Cameron Stage Manager: Adam Koob Scenic Design: Alex Casillas Costume Design: Akeem Celestine Lighting Design: Alex Casillas Sound Design: Ryan McElroy Media Design: Nick Coso
David Thayer Theatre
Comments by the Designer
Seven Spots on the Sun, written by Martin Zimmerman, is the journey of the horrors and pain of war find healing in the desolation that follows. Two couples are torn apart by the war. The war leaves the doctor, the soldier, the young mother, and the town fight to find answers among the aftermath of the war. This play explores the passionate, and mythical stories of this community while balancing on the boundaries between revenge and justice.
Seven Spots on the Sun was the last mainstage production of the 2018-19 season at the University of Iowa. The play itself brings out the powerful emotions of loss, duty and forgiveness. The language of this play is so rich and full of passion. As I followed the story of these characters, the costumes began to almost create themselves.
The play is set in a non-existent Latin X country in the early 1980s, the costumes create a visual of how hot it is in this town. The director and I had conversations discussing how he wanted it to not only be visually hot, but he wanted to see the heat between characters on stage. I focused on having the two couples of the show mirror each other when it came to color family. Both Monica and Belen are in the red color family although they are at opposite ends. Belen sits in a darker more maroon like red to show that she is older and has matured, while Monica is in a hot red to show her youth and playful nature. As time passes, we seen both characters move out of the red color family.
Belen is kidnapped tortured and killed, she returns as a ghost in an off-white dress. Monica, on the other hand, move through a blue phase when her husband is at war and when she becomes a mother by the end of the play Monica is a mature mother as she ends in the brown with a pattern of warm tone colors to represent where she came for and who she is now. Moises and Luis also start in the same blue color family but at different point in the spectrum. After the death of Belen, Moises moves into a neutral green and brown color palette to help him disappear into the set. Luis joins the war and moves up quickly in rank he becomes the Sargent. The Sargent’s costume and Moises costume mirror each other almost perfectly. The goal for the color palette of the show was to mirror the worlds of the two couples, as we see how the war changes their lives. The meaning of color begins to change in context and relation to how their costume has changed. Moises goes through the loss of Belen while Monica gives birth to her and Luis’ daughter.
Overall, during the design process of this production, I focused on creating costumes that suited the plays needs and making the characters fit into the world that the design team and I have created. As for a production, I am very happy with my growth as a designer moving away from campy and over the top costume designs to contemporary grounded design.
Copyright 2019 Akeem Celestine