DENVER CENTER: CSF gets a True West Award for costume design

December 28, 2016

(Right: Howard Swain, Christopher Joel Onken and Carolyn Holding in "Troilus and Cressida.")

By John Moore

In the summer of 2016, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival told stories that were bloody, bold and resolute. Not to mention steamy,  sexy … and at times even funny. But the actors didn’t tell those stories naked. (It only seemed like it at times.)

Costuming has long been a design strength of the nation’s second-oldest Shakespeare Festival, which will turn 60 in 2017. But costuming was a particularly effective storytelling tool last summer in a Boulder lineup that included lesser-known tales Troilus and CressidaCymbeline and a new play about an attempt to coerce Shakespeare into writing propaganda for the king - alongside a fresh, gender-swapping take on The Comedy of Errors

Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr calls the trio of Meghan Anderson DoyleHugh Hanson and Clare Henkel and  “a dream team of costume designers.”

“They are all so creative that they can be hugely helpful in developing how we tell a story sitting right alongside the director,” Orr said.

(Above and right: Hunter Ringsmith and Michael Morgan in Equivocation. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen). 

While very different in style and aesthetic, this threesome shares a great commonality in skill and high standards. Together but separately, they helped their directors and actors transport audiences with their finery from the erotic carnage of the Trojan War in Troilus and Cressida to the untamed mythic forest of Cymbeline to jazz-age Paris in The Comedy of Errors - in which women played the two romantic leading men, and men played the two romantic leading women. Quincy Snowden of the Aurora Sentinel wrote: “Meghan Anderson Doyle’s outlandish outfits deserve special note for their eye-popping grandeur.”

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