Costume corner: Letting it all go in the Arden Forest

'As You Like It' costumes designed by Denitsa Bliznakova.
‘As You Like It’ costumes designed by Denitsa Bliznakova, who last season created the wardrobe for the rock musical ‘The 12.’

By Carolyn Michaels
For the DCPA NewsCenter

To invoke a stark contrast between Duke Frederick’s stuffy palace and the pastoral Forest of Arden, DCPA Theatre Company costume designer Denitsa Bliznakova relied on the transformative power of her pieces to reveal the deeper emotions of the characters in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

“The characters will be learning a lot about themselves and others throughout the play,” said Bliznakova, “and a visual transformation is necessary to tell the story.”

Inspired by the Impressionist movement of the late 1800s, the set and costume design teams created a vivid, vibrant world where the courtly characters could break away from the confines of their strict society and freely express themselves. As the play progresses from the cold, man-made world of the palace to the magical forest, the characters literally strip off their inhibitions and don more colorful, comfortable clothing.

“The people from the palace, in a way, will be shedding away the layers of their past as they are shedding away pieces of their clothing,” she continued. “The ladies will replace their constricting corsets that emphasize the suffocating feeling of this world they live in for light, fresh blouses and full skirts.”

Even disguised as a man, the lady Rosalind will take control of her life through the freedom and anonymity of her clothing. Masculine details like oversized buckles and leather boots add to the believability of her guise without removing her femininity.

So loosen your laces and throw out those smelling salts. Let this lover’s tale of mistaken identities envelop you.

As You Like It ‘meet the cast’ profiles (more to come):
Maurice Jones, Orlando
Geoffrey Kent, Actor, Assistant Director and Fight Director

As You Like It: Ticket information

  • Sept. 25-Nov. 1
  • Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
  • Space Theatre
  • 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Previous NewsCenter coverage of As You Like It:
    As You Like It opens: A woman’s woman in a man’s world
    As You Like It begins rehearsals: ‘Literally, watch it bloom’
    Shakespeare’s largest female role might surprise you: It’s Rosalind
    Casting announced for Theatre Company’s fall shows
    DCPA Theatre Company giddily going down rabbit hole in 2015-16
    Official show page

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