Shannon Smith

Costume Designer

Loves Labours Lost

 Ohio University, May 2010
Directed by: Shelley Delaney
cenic Design: Alexandra Regazzoni
Lighting Design: Evan Schmidt

Loves Labour’s Lost is a play about a group of people that are doing little more than playing at love until the ending, when tragedy halts all fun and games and leaves the audience wondering what will happen next. 

The director wanted it to be set in a period that wasn’t structured as far as the clothing.  She wanted the women to be feminine and the men to be masculine and to be smart and put together, but be able to break down and play when needed.

 We chose to set the play in 1916 America.  It was a time after the suffragette movement that allowed us to show the reluctance to allow women into the university.  This was also a period of transition between the structured corsets of the early 1900’s and the loose wild styles of the 1920’s.  We also decided that the tragedy at the end needed to be an extreme contrast to the happy light comedy in the beginning.  We chose to do this by making Mercade a WWI soldier delivering a war telegram to the princess during a very decadent party.

 The color palate and cut of the clothing is very much inspired by the works of early American illustrators such as  J.C. Lyendecker, and Coles Phillips.  Due to the high graphics, and bold color of the scenery, I chose to use a light palate with moments of pastels, and more saturated colors for the comics.  The colors then transformed into darker jewel tones for the party scene.  The graphics of the set are also reflected in the pattern and asymmetrical cut of the clothing.

 The Pageant of the Nine Worthies was inspired by sandwich boards that were painted to reflect the individual characters that they were portraying.  The flat images worked with the tromp-l’eoil of the scenery.  I wanted to incorporate this element in the hats and other pieces of armor that they wore.