Raven Lanuza-Brown is building her skills and reputation as a costume designer in the drama department at Richland. She designed the costumes for “Gray,” which previews tonight.
The 20-year-old said the design process for “Gray” began with reading the script and went on to include creation of the costume sketches, choosing colors for the characters’ outfits and numerous meetings with the director.
“For [Dorian] Gray, the main character, time is an over-looming theme in the show and so the color palette I chose is sunset,” she said. “He’s red, so that’s the center of the sunset. Then you have the oranges and pinks from the supporting cast. The chorus, the unnamed characters, they’re all blue. It’s like a little sunset beaming out from Gray.”
Lanuza-Brown said it is also important to select the appropriate fabric for a particular costume to represent their economic level: silk for upper class and dingy fabric for the lower class.
“The named characters are more upper class, and the unnamed characters are more lower class,” Lanuza-Brown said. He [Long] told me, when you’re thinking of the main characters, think of Highland Park and when you’re thinking of the chorus, think like Deep Ellum.”
Lanuza-Brown works with a professional theater designer. She says the role of a costumer is similar to that of an actor in that the designer tries to figure out who the character is and what they will look like on stage.
“As a costume designer, you’re still creating people,” she said. “You’re not just creating clothing. You’re creating a person and so you have to approach it like an actor in that, who is this person? Why would they wear these things?”
This is Lanuza-Brown’s last semester at Richland. She’ll graduate next spring with a major in theater and is currently auditioning for a number of schools.