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I admit I find theatrical fittings stressful. Oftentimes it’s the first time you’ve seen the performer and the first time you’ve actually seen the garments on someone. Added to that, people are busy and you have limited time to get them in, dressed and their garments altered. As a designer, there can often be a disconnect between what you “thought” the character would look like and what he/she “actually” looks like! You need to make quick decisions and hopefully have options and of course try to avoid, “second” and “third” fittings.
And then sometimes, an actor steps out of the dressing room and you just swoon. The silhouette is perfect; the color sparkles; the fit is spot-on.
And then sometimes, a performer steps out of the dressing room and you just crack up! This was the case with the mute, comedic butler character in “il secreto di susannah.” I wanted him to look buttoned-up and proper. I wanted him standing straight when onstage overseeing the zaniness of the opera. What better way to do it than in a slightly too-tight, period vest?!

First fitting with Steven Goldstein
Photo: Kathy Wittman

Here’s hoping for more hilarity and less stress… unless of course I’m designing a tragedy, and then maybe no hilarity and NO STRESS!