Costumes dead writers theatre collective

Dead Writers Theatre Collective Beautifully Stage Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan"

Thursday, April 23, 2015 Cora

Dead Writers Theatre Collective kick off their season dedicated to Oscar Wilde with “Lady Windermere’s Fan” at Stage 773. The company states one of their aims is to transport audiences to the time and place of the writing. With scenic design by Moon Jung Kim and costumes by Pattie Roeder, the beautiful sets and costumes did just that.

The cast of Lady Windermere's Fan at the end of Act III. Photo by Michael Brosilow. In the Thrust Theater of Stage 773, the audience is on three sides of the stage. You felt you were looking back in time and in on intimate scenes taking place behind closed doors, a very pretty microcosm. Chandeliers hung down with flickering flames. The floor was black and white tiled. Stage left led off to the ballroom or another part of the house while stage right were steps leading you outside. In the Windermere residence, the room opened up on the terrace so characters could mingle or take in air during the scenes. During intermission, a fireplace was slid in front of the terrace and hand-painted ceiling to floor curtains hung on either side to create Lord Darlington’s house. A few simple changes and the stage was completely turned over, moving from airy and feminine to dark and masculine. The costumes were unique and rich in details with lush fabrics that took in the light. The details were fun to check out as the different characters made their entrances and strolled by your seat.
Megan Delay and Joanna Riopelle. Photo by Michael Brosilow. The Collective’s goal of transporting “audiences into the original world through extensively studied period appropriate settings, props and costumes” was reached. But if you’re admiring the scenery and costumes while the play is going on, something is wrong. Painstaking attention to detail can garner a lot of respect and help actors get into character, but viewers shouldn’t be focused on how someone’s making tea or writing a letter when important information is being delivered. You came to see a play by Oscar Wilde.
L-R Michael Graham, Travis Barnhart, Rob Cramer and Edward Fraim. Photo by Michael Brosilow. There’s a scene where the gentlemen are smoking in Lord Darlington’s house after leaving their club. This was one of the most natural looking scenes with its effortless scene work and it was very enjoyable. You believed you were listening in on friends talking while smoking at the end of the night. You could feel the energies shift and barbs fly. Acts three and four were stronger than acts one and two. They just acted and everything melted away. "Lady Windermere’s Fan" runs through June 7th. The Dead Writers Theatre will also include David Hare’s The Judas Kiss in August and David Grimm’s The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue in October. For tickets and more information, visit

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