Monday, February 22, 2010

I won - The CAT Awards "Best Costume Designer" for The Wizard of Oz

On Saturday afternoon we travelled to Canberra (Australia's capital city) for the CAT Awards (Canberra Area Theatre Awards) as I was nominated late last year for 'Best Costume Designer" for a Musical' for the production of The Wizard of Oz. It's nearly a year ago since I started work as the Creative Director, costume & set designer. There were fifty five theatre groups from around the country participating in the Cat Awards and seven nominations for Costume Designer

...... and on Saturday night, I won......

"Best Costume Designer for a Musical Award"

The Cat Awards

I was truly honoured to receive this award, I loved working with all the wonderful children in the show and many creative parents from our local theatre group SHYAC. I walked up onto the stage in front of over 1000 people and with super dooper spot lights following my every move, well I was nervous, my legs went to jelly and I forgot everything that I wanted to say.

Our Wizard of Oz Musical

I had designed over six hundred costumes and accessories for the show and they were produced in a workshop across the road from our furniture business. There were so many amazing people that helped me put it all together and this award is for everyone that helped put this fabulous show together.

I know many of you followed me through the production of the show via my blog last year, but if you haven't seen what we did here is a selection of the costumes .

There were two main casts so I had to produce two Dorothy costumes, two lions, two scarecrows, two tin men, one Glinda (the good witch), Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Hunk, Hickory and Zeke and Miss Gulch. We had one wicked witch, one witch of the east, Professor Marvel, 40 Munchkins, Munchkin Mayor, three Munchkin Councillors, The Coroner, three Lullaby League ballet dancers, three Lollipop guild dancers, thirty Tornado costumes, ten Guards, seventy Jitterbug costumes, seventy poppies costumes, ten flying monkeys, three apple tree costumes, seventy Emerald City costumes including the Emerald City Doorman, The Wizard's Guard and of course ....The Wizard of Oz

Above in the workshop the Emerald City costumes hang on the the rack and above right, Glinda's costume, I had little spot fairy lights attached to her costume and her crown which were connected to a little battery pack hidden inside. As she arrived on stage under a cloud of bubbles she glowed and twinkled, the little children in the audience all let out a sigh as they jumped up on their chairs to see more. It was a wonderful sight to see..

I used anything I could get my hands on, fabrics, coloured garbage bags, vintage tablecloths, artificial flowers, netting, ribbons, string, feathers, bling and more....

Colour, colour and more colour for Munchkin Land and the children loved all their costumes

I spent months running through second hand stores, I pulled old dresses apart and made hats out of anything and everything, I used tablecloths as aprons, I used streamers as skirts and painted white shirts with red paint & glitter for the Jitterbug scene below right.

My scarecrow was made from old weathered hessian and one of my favourite raffia umbrellas .

The lion was made from local Alpaca wool, which was perfect.

This is the poppies scene above where I designed the costumes with wonderful coloured scented garbage bags, we sewed twenty bags onto a piece of ribbon for each costume and they moved and floated so beautifully as the children danced. I can't tell you how many people have run me over the last year to see how I made them. Great, easy costume to make and a perfect tutu if worn around the waist.

Me above in the workshop sorting all the costumes, every child was a different size and shape and keeping track of all the costumes was a huge job in it's self.

My three apple trees left and the tornado scene above right, I had this wonderful roll of interesting cobweb style plastic and tinsel they they all danced with to created the wind.

Some favourites: The three Munchkin Councillors and the Lullaby league dancers

Above: My Thomas being fitted in his Lion outfit, another garbage bag poppy, the bags were such brilliant colours and the guards killing the witch at the Emerald City

Emerald City Salon above, the little hats were made from cushions covers and by the way, did I mention that we had a tiny budget as well, too small to even mention. Everyone that helped sew and created the costumes did it because they loved being involved.

My Thomas the Lion again, Thomas was the whole reason I worked on the show and I just loved working with him, he had so many wonderful ideas and he made many of the props for the show. Thank you my darling, you were such a inspiration.

Photographs above: Coty Farquhar, Mark Kelly & Andrew Farquhar