Costumes help set the mood in 'As You Like It'
For anyone who doubts that we need another production of "As You Like It," Gabriel Berry has a ready answer.
"It's January in Pittsburgh," Berry says. "This is a chance to get to the countryside and watch the flowers bloom."
Berry is the costume designer for "As You Like It," which began previews Thursday at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown.
Shakespeare's highly theatrical "As You Like It" is a romantic comedy that transports a group of young courtiers from the rules and restrictions of Duke Frederick's palace to the freedom and fantasy of the Forest of Arden populated by shepherds and country maidens. As they assume new identities and encounter new people they also discover love and learn a few things about themselves.
"It's a wonderful comedy and sweet natured," says Berry, who previously designed the costumes for Pittsburgh Public Theater productions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Tempest," and last fall's production of "Electra."
As she began designing the costumes, Berry worked closely with director Ted Pappas.
"Ted is knowledgeable and has his taste. Whenever you talk with him about a show, he has plenty of ideas," she says.
The production is set 1907, toward the end of the Edwardian period.
"It's the start of the modern age, but the concept of courts and kings still has some meaning and the concept of formality still means something," Berry says.
Early 20th-century costuming makes it easier for audience members to recognize which characters are servants and which are aristocracy.
"If you do that faithfully, (the audience) is not confused (they) understand who everybody is," Berry says.
Pappas and Berry also employ costuming traits to emphasize the difference between the formality of Duke Frederick's court, where the early scenes are set, and the relaxed atmosphere in the later forest scenes.
In court scenes, much of the clothing is black and structured. When the characters shift to the freedom of the countryside, the costumes become softer and the color palette becomes lighter.
The shift highlights the feeling of relief as characters are freed of confining restrictions.
Plus, Berry says: "We wanted people to be pretty. In theater, you have to lust after everybody on the stage. You have to want to spend time with them. There are four couples who get married in this, so there's a lot of attraction fueling this."
Clothes make the playsrc="http://photos.mycapture.com/PITT/1399263/39850386T.jpg" alt="Clothes make the play" title="Clothes make the play">
Costumes help set the mood in 'As You Like It.'
'As You Like It'
Produced by: Pittsburgh Public Theater
When: Through Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. most Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. most Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays
Admission: $28-$60; $15.75 for students and age 26 and younger with valid ID
Where: O'Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Downtown
Details: 412.316.1600 or www.ppt.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport Area, South Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward musicians head to holiday parades
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- Membership fees predicted for continued Heritage van use in the Mon Valley
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Lost election inspires South Allegheny student’s clothing project
- Former Clairton resident killed
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Casey supports food donation tax break extension
- Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- Roundup: Mazda recalls cars to fix tire pressure monitors; Wal-Mart’s top merchant out as key holiday nears; more