Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doubt, the second time around

This is the second time I've costumed "Doubt: A Parable". This one is at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, Feb. 18-26, 2011.
Sister James--can you believe I costumed this young lady in 2007 in "The Music Man", now she is all grown up and is in college!
Mrs. Muller and Donald Muller. Mrs. Muller turned into a sophisticated "Jackie O" look alike when she put on this costume! Quite a change from her carefree casual college look! Donald gets to look good, but doesn't get to say anything!

Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley is quite a dramatic story set in the early 60's. Sister Aloysius, a crusty old nun with old fashioned ways and ideas, is afraid that the only black child in her school is being groomed by the parish priest for future "relationships". Her naive, inexperienced fellow educator, Sister James, has quite a difficult time with the possibilities that might be revealed. The show was done as a movie in 2008, with Meryl Streep playing Sr. Aloysius, Amy Adams as Sister James, and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Fr. Flynn.

So far, I think this is the third time in 2 years that this show has been done here in St. Louis. I originally costumed Clayton Community Theatre's production of it in 2009. When I found out my college was doing it, I offered my costumes to them, and they were very happy to get them!

I know I've written about these costumes in the past, and the challenge was making the bonnets that this order of sisters wore at that time. They were not soft veils, but bonnets, somewhat like sun bonnets, but stiff. I remember trying to figure out how to make them, and the first attempt took days to do. Once I did one, the second one and third one took 20 minutes each! Thank heaven I saved them, because now they are being used again!

The director of this show added several characters to the play, mainly, the character of Donald Muller. He also added several other boys as altar boys, and they make a nice addition to the Mass scenes. Marie McCool, the theatre manager, who is really in charge of every technical element in the shows at this theatre, including costumes, made the server's surplices, with some beautiful lace decorating them. She also helped with Mrs. Muller's suit blouse, while I made the jacket and skirt.

The show starts this weekend, I can hardly wait to see the finished product. They did a fabulous set, with some beautiful stained glass set pieces, which turned out very nice. Hope I get access to some good pictures to share with you later!

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