Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Clothing an Idea: Costume Design for Hamlet Trio

  • Photo by Donald Tetto

by: Karen Adamson
Major: Child Study and Language Development

This project was a costume design for a three person production of Hamlet. The director and all three actors were professionals while the design and tech staff was composed of students. The production was part of this year’s Brown Symposium. The project gave me an opportunity to think outside traditional Shakespeare designs as well as play with combining different time periods. Originally the design concept would allow for character changes designated with additions and subtractions to a base costume. Also this was an opportunity to work alongside professionals and gain insightful design experience. Along with designing the costumes, the proposal also included the build of the show.

The result of the project was a completed show and a better understanding of every detail it takes to get there. I went through several major design overhauls throughout the process and ended up with an extremely collaborative costume design. There were several options for both the base costumes and the additional pieces that were considered during the design process. Part of that process was drawn from the edited version of the script and the intensive attention given it in the rehearsal and design process. The resulting costumes were a mixture of my ideas and the actors work with rehearsal pieces pulled for them to work with. In the end all the costume elements worked together to accent the acting and emphasize the actors work on the characters. Also the project taught me more about pattern making, garment construction, and the practical timeline involved in building a show. Ultimately the production was part of this year’s Brown Symposium and was seen by a varied audience.