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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Costumes, makeup enhances characters

    By Marleld Duran

    Staff Writer

    “Costumes are statements to the audience about the show, the time period and the people,” said Jan Gluskin, drama teacher, “They are just as important as set decorations because they are used to take us into another time.”

      Although students spend at least 35 hours practicing for a production, it is the costumes and dress rehearsals that are critical to successfully bringing all the pieces of a play together.

    The difference between rehearsals and dress rehearsals is that students are able to fully embody their characters once they are in costume.

      “Dress rehearsal is more of doing the actual show [when] everything is in place,” stated Nisa Alam, senior. “It feels a lot more real than a regular rehearsal and [we] get to experience […] everything [together].”

      Most pieces, such as tuxedos, have been donated from Pasadena City College or purchased from Aardvarks Costumes and other thrift stores. A few costumes have even been handmade from past student actors, Gluskin, or costume designers.

      Over the years, actors have reused clothing from previous shows so they do not need to put together a new wardrobe for each production. Adding or removing accessories such as a tie, hat, or coat can make all the difference in distinguishing characters as well.

      However, clothing isn’t the only important element when it comes to dressing the actors for their roles. Hair and makeup also contribute to creating full portrayals of characters, and ensuring that their appearances accurately align with the trends of the play’s specific time period.

      Since “Radium Girls” is set in the 1920s, an era in which women often wore their hair in a bun, the female actors in the play must wear their hair to reflect that style.

      Damon Shugart, senior, is the primary makeup artist for drama productions. In between his characters’ scenes on stage, he is in charge of applying makeup on other actors during intermissions and costume changes. With personal expertise and aid from Gluskin, Shugart is able play with lights, shadows, and colors on the actors’ faces to make them stand out to the audience.

      “Different effects of the makeup that is put on the [actors show] that they’re either sick, getting older, or younger than what they’re supposed to look like,” Shugart explained.

      This particular production also brings challenges to how makeup must be used to convey details in the plot. For example, two young girls in the play are exposed to and die from radiation poisoning, so makeup will be used to show blood and decay on their faces.



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    Costumes, makeup enhances characters