I am excited to share the adventures of my job with you.
Apart from the director, the costume designer gets to work most closely with the actors to find out their characters.
Sometimes I sketch one idea of how I see a character, but then I may watch the character in rehearsal and discover that he or she has changed from whom I imagined. The actor and I will then discuss what feels right about the costume and what does not. The costume will help define the character and, in the end, the play.
Other interesting parts of my job include researching period and current fashion in books and magazines, sketching and painting my vision of the characters, and buying the fabrics that are used to make the clothes. I often also work with a wig master to fill wig designs.
I enjoy the fittings with the actors, where we make sure the costumes look and fit correctly, and the fittings often give me an opportunity to get to know the actors. And you always have to be ready for all the interesting changes that are made once dress rehearsals begin!
I stay busy and happy in my job, and I feel lucky to be able to share this fun and hard work with the public.
Kathleen Geldard created the costume sketches here for the play All's Well That Ends Well, which was performed at the Folger Theatre from October 25 to November 30, 2003. The Folger production was set in the nineteenth century. These are the kinds of clothes someone would have worn in the 1800s.
Design a costume for your favorite Shakespeare character.
In what time period would you set your play?
Costume designer Kathleen Geldard has designed for Washington Shakespeare Company, Open Circle Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, Rorschach Theatre Company, Source Theatre, and Studio Theatre Secondstage. Among the productions she has designed for are Scaramouche, Our Town, The Miser, As You Like It, and Tartuffe.
"I enjoy the fittings with the actors, where we make sure the costumes look and fit correctly, and the fittings often give me an opportunity to get to know the actors."