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MC invites guest designer: Theatre department collaborates with NYC costumer

February 6, 2015

Beloved childhood characters come to life this April. The department of theatre is putting on the children’s musical, “A Year With Frog and Toad,” which will run April 23-26.

There to help create the magic will be guest costume designer Orli Nativ. Nativ is a professional New York City-based costume designer who has worked on several different types of productions, from Shakespeare to contemporary shows.

This will be the second time this season that the department of theatre will collaborate with a professional designer. The first time was for “Frankenstein,” when students and staff incorporated prosthetics designed and created by Tony Wash, a Monmouth alum and professional horror movie director and designer.

Director Emily Rollie is excited to collaborate with an outside designer. The theatre department made the choice to incorporate the work of an outside professional because, as Rollie said, “We [the department] don’t, at this juncture, have students who are as interested in costume design as they are in other areas, so we knew that it couldn’t be a student costume designer.”

Rollie also said, “We thought it would be a good pedagogical thing for students to be able to interact with a professional designer because it’s networking, it’s how to do the craft, it’s all of those things, so all of those kind of fell into place.”

Doug Rankin, director of the theatre department, said, “It’s always good to have outside sources come into campus because you don’t always see multiple ways of looking at a problem until you see somebody that has a different experience.” He is excited to see what Orli will bring to the design process.

Nativ brings to campus not only her skills as a designer, but also her knowledge of the theatre world. Working with Nativ offers theatre students both glimpse at how a professional operates and at how she succeeds in the world that they hope to enter post-graduation.

Throughout the process, Orli will visit campus twice, once for the first costume fitting, as well as during the week before performances to make any last minute adjustments. Rollie hopes to share Orli’s knowledge with the students of the theatre department, as well as the community. They will be working together with the Buchanan Center for the Arts to talk to local artists about the theatre process.

It is still early, but work on “Frog and Toad” is already under way.

Natalie Stortoni
Contributing Writer

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