Being a costume designer for a professional theater company is a big job, and DCT is fortunate to have award-winning maestro Lyle Huchton as our designer. During his time at DCT, he has designed and created hundreds of costumes, and this summer, his work is especially fancy, so we’ve issued a call for young designers to provide him with some inspiration.
For the past few seasons, DCT has asked its patrons age five to seventeen to share their creativity with us through design contests. We are always amazed by the entries. They are so uninhibited by whether or not they are “doing it right.” As we grow older, we discover a nagging inner voice that warns us against taking bold choices. It’s the same voice that tells us that our clothes need to be coordinated and weather-appropriate, while the five-year-old doesn’t think twice about pairing polka dots with stripes and then putting on their rain boots to go to the beach!
This summer, we asked young designers to help with two particularly important costumes appearing in our season opener, FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL. These are the Mermaid and the Shark, both important elements in the climactic Mermaid Ballet. They were given only three guidelines:
1) The best designs incorporate a variety of colors, textures, and materials.
2) Costumes have to fit on human bodies and allow them to move safely on stage.
3) Details are important, and they must be large enough to be seen from stage.
It’s going to be a challenge to choose the grand prize winners who will actually get to join Lyle Huchton in the costume shop during the design process. This is not something we take lightly. According to Lyle, ”I always get really excited to see what creative ideas come from the design contest. I, at times, tend to over think when I am designing a costume so when I see some of the creative ways they approach the challenge. I wonder why did I not think of that? It is important to seek out and encourage young talent. I am proud of DCT’s commitment to this type of outreach.”
Overthinking? That’s one of the most powerful tools of that nagging inner voice.
The contest winners will be announced on July 31, but all of the entries will be on display throughout the run of FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL. Hopefully when you see them, it will remind you of the dangers of over-thinking, and inspire you to color outside the lines sometimes.
FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL runs September 18 – October 25 and will be fanciful fun for boys and girls ages 5 and up. Season tickets are available now and single tickets for FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL will go on sale July 31.