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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to succeed in costume design

    Kyle Schellinger, a graduate student costume designer, is designing costumes for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
    Kyle Schellinger, a graduate student costume designer, is designing costumes for ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.’

    Who: Costume designer Kyle A. Schellinger

    What: “”How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,”” a musical theatre show starting Nov. 8.

    Bio: His family lived in St. Louis. Schellinger graduated from Truman State University with a bachelor of arts in theater.

    Wildcat: How long have you been working on your new show?

    Schellinger: I’ve been working on it since March. We have a 12-week design process. Since we have the summer off, I worked on it then as well. I’ve been buying fabric and getting things ready. We still have a little time left before we start building anything in the shop.

    W:What inspires you?

    S: The thing that inspires me the most is the collaborative nature of theater. I get inspiration with the directors and the designers. We all work together to try to have a show that is stage-worthy. We like to think that it happens. Because we are good collaborators, we present good shows.

    W: What project are you most proud of?

    S: Last year I designed for “”Scenes From an Execution.”” One dress I was very pleased with. It was very beautiful, and it was the most fun costume in the play for me because it was a little bit more intense than the other ones, and it looked really beautiful onstage. There were several costumes that I built in the Alabama Shakespeare festival. One that I did there that I was fond of was a green velvet dress.

    W: How does being a costume designer work?

    S:I won’t be making the costumes myself. There’s a rundown of the way things work. There’s the shop manager that helps everything flow well through the shop. The draper makes the pattern. The stitcher sews it all together. The designer oversees the team. I don’t directly make the costumes, but I am working on costumes for another show.

    W: What is your favorite fabric to work with?

    S: Silk. I like heavier-weight silks like taffeta because they have a nice sheen to them, and they sort of glow onstage. They always look put together, nice and crisp.

    “”The thing that inspires me the most is the collaborative nature of theater.””

    Kyle A. Schellinger,
    costume designer

    W: What fabric is harder to work with?

    S: Some types of silk are hard. The slippery silks are difficult to work with. Knit fabrics are hard to work with as well.

    W: How did you start designing costumes?

    S: When I started, I came as an actor and I sort of fell into costume design. I found that I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go with costume design. It’s very fulfilling to me to be able to draw a picture of something and to work with a group of people and have it appear onstage. It’s a thrill to see something that you created in your mind up onstage and translated to other people. It’s really wonderful.

    W: When do you graduate, and what are your future plans?

    S: I graduate in May of ’08. After that, I think that I’m probably moving to Chicago or New York. I have a lot of friends that live in Chicago, and I think that Chicago is becoming a big theater city. That’s probably where I’ll end up going directly after here.

    W: You want to do the same work there that you do at the UA?

    S:I want to work in costume construction and assistant designing rather than designing because it’s hard to break in. Utah Shakespearean and Alabama Shakespearean Theatre are also two places that I’d like to do costume design. It’d be thrilling to work in New York City, but it’s a hard business to get into.

    W: Why do you like Tucson?

    S: I love Tucson. It’s a little hot, a little dry, but it’s a very open place. It seems very liberal and accepting, especially down by the university and Fourth Avenue.

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