Director Olivia helps cast member Emily with her costumeWhen it comes to picking costumes and props for a show, it can be different every time. The process varies from show to show.

“The director normally has a precise vision of what they want for costumes,” said Laura Sumpter, one of the stage managers of Much Ado About Nothing.

The directors of each respective show decide in what time period to stage their show, and base their costumes off of this decision.

“About halfway through rehearsals, we start choosing costumes, but they are brainstormed by the director long before that,” Sumpter said.

For costumes, director Olivia Botelho chose the time period of the 1970s.

A stylin' vest

“It was mostly about just looking at each character and thinking of how they’d translate from Shakespearean times into the 1970s, and what sort of 1970s style they would have,” Botelho said.The cast also takes part in helping with their costumes. Throughout the time leading up to the show dates, cast members will make trips to thrift stores like Value Village and costume room sales hosted by other theatre companies to look for pieces that suit their image.

“The minute I told them it was 1970s, a whole bunch of them went totally nuts and started going to thrift stores, and costume sales, and a whole bunch of them came to me with outfits kind of pre-made. So, it’s been a really great collaborative process,” Botelho said.
As for props, for Much Ado, most of the props were laid out in the script and didn’t need much discussion.
Come see the costumes in action at the performances of Much Ado about nothing Nov. 16-18, 22-23.