The Curious Incident at The Ohio State University: Part Four, Costume Design

costume design for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at OSU
(Courtesy of OSU)

A novel by Mark Haddon, an Olivier and Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens with a London production at the National Theatre, a hit on Broadway, and now an interesting college production with media design by Alex Oliszewski, lighting design by Mary Tarantino, scenic design by William Ledbetter, and costume design by Julianne Nogar. The professional designers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which ran April 10-20, 2019, at The Ohio State University, comment on their work. Check out the media designlighting design, and scenic design.

Costumes Design by Julianne Nogar

Live Design: How did the script influence the costume design?

Julianne Nogar: For the costume design, the script was as important for the design as the concepts from the lighting and media designers. I knew from the beginning that this show did not revolve around costumes. It revolved around conceptualizing the experience of the main character Christopher. Lights, sound, and media worked to show the thoughts inside Christopher's head when he was not able to articulate them himself. In order to not draw focus and give a relatively blank canvas for lights and projection, I designed every ensemble member as a base costume colored in the grey scale. I utilized simple geometric patterns, to represent the math-oriented way Christopher sees the world. To distinguish one character from the next, as each ensemble member played various, short-lived characters, I added pops of bright saturated costume pieces and accessories.

costume design for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at OSU

Because Christopher is adamant that he does not like the color yellow, I used yellow to costume the ensemble, when Christopher is in moments of high stress. As red is his favorite color, I used shades of red as an accent color for the characters who were friendly toward Christopher. 

The biggest challenge for me was creating costumes that had enough interest without distracting from the media and lights. The director, Kevin, and I went though several versions of Christopher's costume. Late in the process, we added the BlackTrax system, which was a great resource of lighting Christopher. However, I had to alter the original vision for Christopher's costume so that it was as flat and neutral as possible. In a way, it felt like some of the process was devised because different elements and movements of the cast were added after the final designs had been completed. As our technology and storytelling evolved, it became apparent that we needed to tone down the patterns in the design. The projection and lights added texture to the costume, so it was not necessary to have patterns as part of the final design.

costume design for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at OSU

Full Production Team

  • Chair – Janet Parrott
  • Producer – Mandy Fox
  • Production Manger – Sherée Greco
  • Director & Co-Choreographer – Kevin McClatchy
  • Movement Director & Co-Choreographer – Jeanine Thompson
  • Scenic and Properties Designer – William Ledbetter
  • Costume Designer – Julianne Nogar
  • Lighting Designer – Mary Atantino
  • Sound Designer – Eve Nordyke
  • Media Designer – Alex Oliszewski
  • Technical Director – Chris Zinkon
  • Stage Manager – Dana Petersen
  • Dramaturg – Anna Guse
  • Assistant Director – Jason Speicher
  • Assistant Lighting Designer – Braden Held
  • Assistant Sound Designer – Curtis Myers
  • Assistant Media Designer – Kelsey Gallaher
  • Assistant Stage Manager – Jerrett Crowthers
  • Dialect Coach – Mandy Fox
  • Fight Choreographer & Assistant Movement Director – Jason Speicher
  • Ticket Office Manager – Carolyn Jakubczak

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