We asked Jeanette Derr what it was like to design costumes based on barn yard animals.
The really tricky and fun thing is that all the parts; ducklings, frogettes, fish, blizzard dancers, geese, cats, hens, bull frogs, swans – are played by only 13 actors. There are some really fast changes so the costumes have to be made to be easily changed. I’ve kept the Velcro company in business this past month.
Layers – these actors are hardly ever on stage in just one costume layer. It’s easier to peel off something and run back on stage than to have to change in and out, in and out over and over and do it as fast as necessary. There are bragging rights here – one of the changes is down to 10 seconds!! (I’m afraid to ask if it’s fast enough).
As much as I love the costuming, sewing, and building of these characters, the bottom line is that it’s really a team effort. Ideas come from multiple sources as do costume pieces, it’s rarely a one man show downstairs. Then the actors have to pull it all together and make us believe in what they have become.