As we head towards the first preview for MinusOneSister, designer Georgia Hopkins reveals her process for the characters’ costume designs.
For me, MinusOneSister has been a big journey into the world of the classical Greek texts, an exploration of revenge, violence, the family unit and gender. Throughout this process, I was often preoccupied thinking about the role of women in this play. When playwright Anna Barnes flew up to Sydney to join us for a three-day creative development, she shared with us her love of girl-culture and her confidence in teenage girls. This play explores the sexism and discrimination faced by teenage girls while also identifying the value teenage girls have in both the family and the community. I believe that the most important thing in this production is that the plight of these girls is presented with dignity and respect.
Pouring over the design presentation in rehearsals
I think a lot of my choices when designing the costumes for the female characters in this production have been influenced by the way that I want women to be portrayed onstage. I struggled a lot trying to avoid the clichés that can occur when portraying innocence and strength in women. More often than not, the strong, opinionated or intelligent women appear more masculine, while the innocent, caring or beautiful women are designed to look more feminine. It’s my job as a designer to make visual choices that will give the audience a lot of information about a character before the actor has opened their mouth. But the tricky thing about the characters in this show is that your perception of them changes in a heartbeat. They can go from meek and vulnerable in one scene to strong and independent in the next. Our four fantastic actors have brought so much complexity to these characters that I decided to put them in fairly neutral costumes to allow the audience to discover the characters through the performances entirely. I can’t wait to sit back on opening night and watch a new audience discover these characters for themselves.
Come along and discover them for yourself.