Date of Graduation
College of Creative Arts
Kiss Me Kate provides an interesting challenge for costume designers in that it is set in 1940s Baltimore but stages a production of Taming of the Shrew within the musical. During the spring and fall of 2015 I was given the opportunity to design Kiss Me, Kate for my graduate costume design thesis project. I worked in collaboration with Professor Bryce Britton, director, Professor Robert Klingelhoefer, scenic designer, and Professor Alan McEwen, lighting designer. Professor Britton expressed his desire to create a "Technicolor dreamland" for our Elizabethan Renaissance show within a show, and Professor Klingelhoefer discussed the need for a duality between the two halves of the show. I aimed to portray a realistic 1940s era backstage while also designing a big and bold theatrical production of Taming of the Shrew. As costume designer my challenge was to manage a production that contained multiple eras requiring costume and character changes.;To accomplish this I researched thoroughly both Elizabethan Renaissance and 1940s Eras and engaged in a close reading of both Kiss Me Kat e and Taming of the Shrew in order make design choices that reflected the characters in each show. These design choices were refined though a series of sketches with final design choices made in collaboration with Professor Britton. From this point on I was responsible for overseeing the transition of my designs from paper to reality by building a schedule for costume production, pulling and renting costumes, and organizing fittings for twenty six actors.;One of the most significant lessons I take away from this production is the importance of getting and staying organized. I accomplished this through detailed documentation of my vision and how it applied to each character and costume. I also learned the importance of staff management and asserting myself as a designer so that my design ideas are reflected in the finished costumes.
Hill, Cecelia A., "Brush up your Shakespeare; Costuming West Virginia University's Production of "Kiss Me Kate"" (2016). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5803.