Creating the Character

The Festival Theatre Foyer is currently exhibiting Creating the Character, a display of some of the grandest and most interesting costumes in the Adelaide Festival Centre’s collection.

The exhibition is more than simply costumes that have been donned over the years. Performing Arts Collection Curator, Jo Peoples, explains that the exhibition demonstrates “how the director, designer, actor and techs work together to create a character”, and that a stage designer has a larger role than merely clothing an actor appropriately. “Stage designers fill a number of roles. They are historians, storytellers and social commentators. Their work is crucial in the audience’s understanding of who the character is and why they are there. It’s story telling in another way.” Included in the exhibition are selected works by prominent Australian stage designers like Sue Russell, Tess Schofield, Dean Hills, Paul Morisset, Bronwyn Jones, Tony Graham and Luciana Arrighi who won an Oscar for her Howard’s End designs. Other notable exhibits are the costumes worn by Geoffrey Rush in some of his luminary State Theatre Company production roles, as well as costumes from a Peter Goers production of Amadeus that had Shaun Micallef on the playbill. Costumes on display are accompanied by their original designer drawings, selections of critical praise for the work as well as historical and social context of the shows they were a part of. Creating the Character is on display in the Festival Theatre Foyer until May. Image: State Theatre Company production of Comedy of Errors (1990), L-R: Mary-Anne Pitman, Paul Blackwell and Richard Piper. Photo: David Wilson

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