Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Jungle Book: Production Photos

For a few weeks this past January I was close to pulling my hair out as I juggled two productions back to back at NSCDS.  Normally I have about a month between each show in the Upper and Middle schools, which is the average amount of time to complete a production from the initial design to tech.  This time I had a WEEK between shows, which meant I was working on them simultaneously - 60 costumes (give or take), and two wildly different styles.

First up was an adaptation of "Snow White", but I don't have photos from that yet.  We tried to go with a cute and simple Grimm fairy tale style so it wouldn't look too similar to "Into the Woods", which I'm currently working on and opens next month.

The second show was another adaptation of a classic story, "The Jungle Book".  Instead of making the costumes literal representations of the different animals, the set designer and I collaborated on using large over-sized masks that would sit on the actors' heads and still allow them to use their facial expressions, coupled with traditional Indian clothing that captured the spirit of each animal.  We were both inspired by the Broadway version of "The Lion King" (and I've always loved Julie Taymor's style, excluding "Spiderman", of course).

So with the costumes I came up with a distinctive style for each type of animal, using clues from the script and masks, which were painted in a highly stylized manner.  The wolf pack were simple and earthy, made with rough textured fabrics in browns and golds.  The tiger (Shere Khan), jackal, panther, and bear (Baloo) also used simple fabrics, but with more decoration and pattern than the wolves.  The monkeys were bright and flashy, in purple, orange, and green with lots of traditional beading and sparkle.  The kites (a type of falcon) were held by actors in blue and gold to represent the sky.  And my favorite, the snake Kaa, was dressed in elaborate red and green encrusted with beading and embroidery to give the impression of shimmery scales.

I don't have too many photos right now, just what I was able to take with my phone during the last rehearsal.  I hope to get better quality photos soon!


  1. Hey, I found your blog from your post on Sew Weekly. I'm a costumer also, and I look forward to following your blog. I'm over at dontbeprettywithit.blogspot.com although I mostly blog about personal sewing these days.