Laurie Churba Costume Designer
The Lost Character

Project Description

Each entity and its costume described below is a part of this presentation. The Lost Character project challenges our expectations by coupling unlikely elements with intelligent characteristics and bringing line, texture and color to bear as tools to redefine in new environments what we normally and characteristically see as non-entities.

Theater designers must adhere to rules. We spend time doing all we can to facilitate the play in some shape or form. What if there were no rules, no narrative? Pirandello had characters looking for an author while Beckett had characters waiting for someone named Godot who never arrives. Characters in those plays were all too human and thus the costumes easily satisfied. The Lost Characters are absurd forms that require design affectation to give a semblance of humanity.

Lizard Woman (Squmata Primate) age 119 (young)

Lizard skin was made by Nuno-felting colored wool onto twelve yards of printed silk.

Lizard Woman left the Archipiélago de Colón mother to find her sailor father who once landed on the island in 1895. She is cold blooded so always requires a heat source somewhere close to her body, especially in extreme conditions. She loves classical music. Dilemma: Defining the physical properties of this reptile/human and how clothing would evolve for such a being with a long history yet youthful status.

Ant Colony (Formicarium) age 31

Ant Colony is created by sewing LED lights onto a garment and programming them to simulate frenetic ant movement.

Formi is frenetic, organized, compulsive, social, hard working, distant and detached. She is a union organizer and a miner in the local lead mine. Works closely with several volunteer groups to aid children from displaced homes. She has a discreet relationship with her partner of twelve years. Dilemma: Delineating the intricate and complex algorithmic systems that make a typical colony. Containing this organic system in a way that remains visual while still servicing the character through costume.

Works in progress:

57.25 Ounces of H20 (Aqua) age unknown

Aqua came to America illegally in 1492 from Spain, remained and became a naturalized citizen. Reproduces Asexually. President of a local bank, water always dresses for dinner and smokes tobacco. Water hates the outdoors, has aversion to insects, animals, fishermen, the sun, cold temperatures, rain, fallen leaves and has a corrosive attitude. Easily fetid, water sometimes stinks, spends most of its time indoors. Water is an avid reader. Dilemma: Containing and costuming a specific quantity of a liquid.

Wind (Khamsin) age 52

Khamsin is Egyptian-American. A hot, dry wind that blows from the Sahara Desert to Egypt for about fifty days each spring; called "rih al khamsin" (the wind of fifty days) by Egyptians. Wind works for the US postal service. Wind is a schizophrenic who needs constant attention and throws temper tantrums. Wind is musical, messy, unpredictable, and unreliable and loves old movies. Dilemma: Producing and costuming a non-solid with the characteristics of Khamsin.

A Leg (Crus) age 39

President of the school board, leg is sturdy, helpful and grounded. Leg has many friends and works well with others. Believes in community support. Leg likes jogging, walking, biking and is a big supporter of school athletics. Has young son who is a freshman in the local high School. Dilemma: Defining through design this autonomous element, which is normally equated as a part of a greater whole.

Coffee Grinder (Krups) age 19

Krups is lonely, sad, withdrawn, noisy, self-destructive easily agitates others and has been unemployed for two years. Plays the guitar. Writes poetry. Dilemma: Finding a design that defines the character while transcending the ordinariness of the object.


(Click on the orange triangles to view more content)