Design Department Featured in Article on Costume Design during the Pandemic

Thursday, Feb 4, 2021

Every play during a pandemic is, by necessity, experimental. For the few theater companies that are attempting to hold live performances, every artistic element of staging—from set design and casting to costumes—is being reconsidered to safeguard the health of actors, stage crew, and theater-goers.

This spirited, trial-and-error ethos courses through New York University’s theatrical production wing, which has been holding live performances since last October. For its latest production, a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the cast of 15 actors are spread across two theaters, with live action supplemented with a live video feed of both stages. Audience members in both theaters are seated six feet apart and asked to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before they’re allowed in the venue. Per the school’s guidelines, actors, crew members, and faculty are tested regularly, and are required to wear masks at all times.

NYU’s costume department has played a crucial role in the avant-garde staging of Romeo and Juliet, tailoring Covid-compliant face masks that double as a storytelling device. The masks are used to identify actors who switch roles throughout the play. Knowing the demands on actors during a performance, Krista Intranuovo and Lauren Carmen, both graduate students at the costume department, were concerned most about fit. With the guidance of Daun Fallon, NYU’s costume shop manager, they figured out that double-lined masks lined with a layer of gauze material work best for extended wear.

Read more from Quartz here!