‘Alice in Wonderland’ – North Carolina State University, November, 2012
Adapted and Directed by: Jayme Mellema. Costume Design: Laura Parker, Em Rossi, John McIlwee, and Maggie Briggs. Lighting Design: Joshua Reeves. Set Design: Jayme Mellema.
‘Alice’ was like no other show I’ve ever worked on – the sheer amount of artistry and creativity that took over the theatre while we were in production for that show was mind-boggling. Since we were working with some new media (puppets!) and the show was large and complex, we parceled out the costume design between the professional staff and a talented student. Although this had the potential to create a disjointed overall design, it ended up working well – the episodic nature of the ‘Alice’ stories lends itself to having costume pieces ranging from tuxedoes to Renaissance-era doublets, and everything in between.
I took on the ‘Royal Court’ – the Queen and King of Hearts, the Knave of Hearts, and the “cards” – the courtiers, guards, and gardeners. The cards were designed to be fairly homogenous – doublets with a printed red and white “jacquard” design on back, and white fronts with their number and suit appliquéd on. The King, Queen, and Knave all drew from elements of Renaissance and Medieval fashions, with the Queen delving into a hybrid gown featuring elements from Medieval and Renaissance paintings. The card-applique on the back of the Queen’s gown was inspired by the back of a turn-of-the-century playing card.