Just a few more days until the first performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It - so let’s share another interview with the cast and crew!
Today, we hear from Anna Baker, who designed the costumes for the show:
Q: How does the show relate to modern-day audiences?
Anna: It's a love story with four branches. Love triangles, deceptive disguises, unrequited feelings... it's what we all experience at one time or another. It's the kind of thing I love to watch, that's for sure!
Q: Tell us about your position on the crew.
Anna: I am the costume designer for this classic piece. Though I've costumed shows before, this was the most challenging and enjoyable show I've ever worked on. (Director) Mike Murdock knew exactly what styles he wanted, and let me run free with fabrics and trims and "creative juices." It was an absolutely huge endeavor to build all of these period costumes, and I am so thankful that Becky McClelland was there to help. We got to use a lot of brocade and thicker upholstery fabrics, which we got to pick out. We've had a blast, and it reminded me of how much I love creating the wardrobe for so many different characters and personalities.
Q: What's your background in theatre?
Anna: I started out at ACTC in Ashland after I saw Hairspray on a trip to NYC when I was 15. I got a taste, and couldn't put the bottle down. Paula Krepsik, the costume designer there at the time, taught me everything I know now. She's definitely a big influence in my community theatre life.
Q: Tell us about the cast.
Anna: The cast is a fun one. We have a new company, so we've welcomed new, exciting people who bring so much joy and excitement to the theatre. Robert Hutches (playing Jaquis) is a new company member. His attitude and talent are so enjoyable and add to the dynamic of the show on and off stage. Kate Morris let me put her in a corset, so she is definitely a trooper. She has such a calm, pleasant air that calms even the craziest of us (mainly me) down. Lara Donahoe and Ashby Foutch are also some newish faces in our company. They're so fun, and sing like angels. This cast is a great one. They've handled my costume rules well, and that's all you can really ask for, ya know?
Q: Why did you want to be part of this show?
Anna: I wanted to get back into costuming more classic pieces. I helped costume shows like A Christmas Carol for four years straight with Paula. We did shows like Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, etc. Getting back to such a structured, gorgeous, forgotten style is a dream for any costumer. I think moreso, it helps people engulf themselves in a character because most of these women don't wear corsets, or renaissance ball gowns on a day-to-day basis. And the men don't wear leather pants everyday...which is a shame in my eyes.
Q: Why would you recommend this show?
Anna: 1. Great cast 2. Great Director 3. Great show 4. Great costumes
Q: And how do you like it?
Anna: I like it well - especially if the cast only has hard candy and water around my costumes!
As You Like It by William Shakespeare will be presented at the ARTS Renaissance Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington on Jan. 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the show only, and $30 for dinner and show - for dinner, you must make a reservation by calling 304-733-2787.