Senior designs flexible costumes

By Claire Hong

Ruby Boyd ’12 faced a new challenge while trying to design the costumes for the actors of the upper school play “The Laramie Project.” Boyd had to find costumes that would appropriately fit all of the multiple roles played by each actor.

“Because each actor is playing multiple parts, the challenge has been to figure out what the appropriate base costume should be that will work for each of an actor’s characters,” she said. “Then the next step is to find an interesting piece that clearly captures a character’s persona, but is also simple enough for all the quick changes in the show.”

To come up with designs for the characters’ costumes, Boyd said she first looked through the script to try and understand each of the characters.

“I started by reading the script and taking notes about my initial impressions of the characters,” she said. “Then I did research on the time period and the town of Laramie itself. My next step was to collect images that reminded me of individual characters, so that by the time I started looking for physical clothing, I had reference images for each character.”

Boyd said the costumes for “The Laramie Project” did not require very much sewing because they were very modern. While making and designing the costumes, Boyd works in the costume shop, which is next to the drama office in Rugby.

“I’ve had to alter various pieces to make them fit correctly, but apart from that, this show has required very little sewing,” she said. “It has been mostly finding the right piece at thrift stores and costume rental houses.”

Because of the minimal sewing needed for the costumes of this play, Boyd said upper school performing arts teacher Lisa Peters helped her mostly with researching and organizing the proper materials needed to make the show’s costumes.

“Ms. Peters has been very, very helpful for this entire show,” she said. “She has been an amazing mentor and has taught me a lot about the process of costuming a show.”

Boyd said it took about two fullmonths to research, buy, fit and alter all of the costumes for “The Laramie Project.”