Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Young Designers Sparkle on Stage


Claire Spigel and Alyssa Morales.

After pouring over almost a hundred design submissions, our production team selected the Shark design of Claire Spigel and the Mermaid design of Alyssa Morales. These prize-winning designers had a workshop with resident designer, Lyle Huchton, and the final results for the production of FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL were over the top with all the twinkle you would expect from fanciest girl who ever danced as a tree and a slippery singing shark.

We talked to Claire and Alyssa about their inspiration, and their experience.

Claire, what inspired your Shark design?

WinnerSharkThe inspiration for my Shark design was the Maki shark. It’s a beautiful shade of blue and has a pointed nose which I thought would be cute incorporated into a hood. Additionally, since the costume was meant for a shark ballet, I made sure to design it to be very movable and easy to work in. 


Alyssa, what sparked your idea for the Mermaid?

WinnerMermaidWhen I was little and learned how to draw, my favorite thing to draw was mermaids. I always drew mermaids. My inspiration came from that and the Fancy Nancy books. I loved reading Fancy Nancy when I was younger. She’s always fancy so I had to make my mermaid extra fancy. 


Claire, tell us a little bit about your one-on-one workshop experience with Lyle.DSCN2169

During my workshop with Lyle, I learned more about all of the work and planning beforehand that goes into designing a big, colorful show like Fancy Nancy. We talked about his process and how the costume gets from the page to the stage, which was very informative to learn about. 

What did you learn in your workshop, Alyssa?

DSCN2178I learned that there is a lot more that goes into being a costume designer than I thought, but it’s also cooler than I thought. I loved being in the design room! Makes me want to be a designer even more. I also learned that it’s ok to be shy. 



Claire, on your entry form, we asked how you could be happy for your friends when they got something you wanted, and you said, “Their happiness is my happiness.” We know this is a lesson Fancy Nancy has to learn, but what did you mean by that?

What I meant by “their happiness is my happiness” is that friendship is a DSCN2173partnership based on trust and mutual respect, knowing that the other person will have your back and be there for you. When one friend receives something that the other wanted, it’s the other friend’s responsibility to be there for them and support them, because they trust one another to do so. And when the other friend is supportive, then they too can get enjoyment from seeing their friend succeed. Additionally, when another similar occasion arises, the other friend will be more likely to support the friend that supported them. 

Alyssa explains her feelings about her friends very simply.

I want God to bless my friends and for them to be happy. I want them to be safe and for them to do good.DSCN2181

The Mermaid and Dancing Shark are scene-stealers, but the show is ultimately about supporting your friends and being the best at who you are. All of the designs, and the amazing cast of characters will take your breath away and inspire you to be the best friend you can be, now through October 25.


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