1. GENERAL HEADING: Visual Materials
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Designing Fairies"
3. GOALS: To commit to an interpretive choice; to render the choice visually in design.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Individuals or pairs.
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: Scripts: A Midsummer Night's Dream .
(Slides and/or videotapes of productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream)
(Visual sources: art books, fashion magazines, children's books, costume histories, etc.)
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: At least 60 minutes in preparation; class time for evaluation as needed.
7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION: Assign students the responsibility for designing the costumes for the fairies, or an individual fairy, in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students should look carefully at the script and stage directions to see what the character has to do, and how s/he is described. They then create a design, either drawing an original design, or pulling from visual sources. They should be prepared to "pitch" their design to the director and producer, and should be able to say who the fairies of this production are, and why, and how they will be perceived by a contemporary audience.
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION:
Period, historicity, style, eclecticism;
Practical issues of costuming;
Interpretive choices: fairies and the supernatural;
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Julia Matthews, Wesleyan College
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: 1) After students have created their own designs,
view slides or videotapes of other productions of the play. Discuss the
design choices and their implications for the productions. 2) Have a director
and producer team listen to all the design concepts, then select one to
produce and explain why. The team may be individual students, or half the
class, or guests.