THE WORK OF THE DESIGN TEAM
At the beginning of the planning phase of a production, designers often write statements that describe their concept of how their designs will integrate into the production. Here is a concept statement from Moon Over Buffalo costume designer Sue Williams:
Designers must do research into period styles of architecture, interior design, and clothing when planning their designs. Although the story of Moon Over Buffalo is fictional, the play is set in a real theatre, named the Erlanger, that still stands in Buffalo, NY. The director and scenic designer wanted the set for this production to approximate the look of the real theatre, so the scenic designer researched its layout and architecture using various sources, including the ERLANGER THEATRE WEBSITE.
Theatrical designers create sketches to illustrate their plans for their designs. This helps directors and other members of design teams visualize what the final product will look like.
The images below are sketches created by Moon Over Buffalo costume designer Sue Williams. Note that the sketches have "swatches" attached, which are sample pieces of the fabrics from which the costumes are being made. Costume designers select fabrics for the costumes and pass on the fabric and the sketches to costume technicians so that they can create patterns and construct the costumes. Not all costume pieces are constructed: some are pulled from the department's existing stock, some are purchased, and, occasionally, some are rented from other theatres or businesses that specialize in renting theatrical costumes.