The Indian actors in this year's Mount Saint Charles production of Peter Pan feel it is necessary to create their own costumes and be able to design their own. The costume designers should give them this freedom!
The costume designers already have everyone else in the play to worry about. For instance, the pirates, the lost boys, the Darlings, and all the animals. The Indians are volunteering to take the responsibility of creating our own costumes. This just gives the costume designers more time to focus on working on all the other costumes and less stress about making all the Indian's costumes.
The Indians' costumes are just as important as the rest of the cast. As costume designers, we believe that we are responsible for making everyone look like they match with their costumes. Mr. Cooney picked us for the job and trusted us with making the right decisions. Although it is kind of the Indians to take the intiative to make their own costumes, they are not appropriate for the show. Some of the Indians have too little fabric and other Indians are trying to make their character stand out by wearing a different costume. We believe that we hold the responsibility of making everyone look the same everyone feels equal, and so that the costumes are appropriate for the show.
Mr. Cooney may have choosen you for the job, but he also did tell all the Indians from the first rehearsal that we would be able to make our own costumes. We have been planning on making them from the beginning and were not so thrilled when the costume designers came in and told us we couldn't make them anymore. Some of us had already made the purchase and the already made Indian costumes can not be returned. Some were $50. None of us are trying to stand out by having different costumes because with the costume designers, everyone still has different costumes. Either way some Indians will stand out, but not purposely. Also, the costumes provided for us for Meet the Department were difficult to dance in, which is the main focus of the Indians. We are known as the dancers and how are we supposed to be able to take our part in the play if the costume designers do not understand how difficult it is to move in the giant, constricting dresses they give us. If you want to bring up the subject of appropriate, the costume designers would not let us wear leggings under the dresses they gave us for Meet the Department. So while sitting cross-legged in front of the audience, we did not feel these costumes were appropriate and therefore believe that the Indians should be able to make their own.
As costume designers, we believe we hold the control over all costumes and assume the responsibility of making it easier on the cast by providing costumes. Mr. Cooney would not have assigned us this job if he did not believe we could handle it. We provide free costumes for the whole cast and we want to make everyone feel less pressured on costumes, so that they can focus on the show. We understand that the Indian's main role is a dancer, but everyone has to match the tone of the show and realize that the show is for an audience of parents, fellow class members, and younger children. We believe that we can unify the show by taking up the position as costume designer. The costumes for meet the department were only temporary and we have been working on everyone's costume every single day. We attend scheduled rehearsals so that we can fix any costumes and make sure that the cast member approves of it. If the Indians had the right to make their own then other characters would want to make their own too. I believe we create less confusion and add to the organization of this show
You said you are trying to make it easier and less stressful for the Indians by providing them, but it just puts more stress on us. By not knowing what we might get and not being able to practice in them, we do not know whether we can move in them and do our dance the best we can. We realize our audience and wouldn't wear something if it wasn't appropriate. Our main focus is to be able to dance. I believe that it wouldn't be confusing if we made our own, it would only give the costume designers more time to focus on the others and the Indians would feel ready and prepared.
Preparedness should deal with how ready you are for show, not the costumes. The costume designers check with every indian on their costume and modify them to fit the needs of each indian. The costume designers have been entrusted with this job and have years of experience.The costume designers know how to make the costumes visually pleasing and comfortable for each cast member. It's also less stress for Mr. Cooney because he is able to see the costumes ahead of time and approve of them. The costume designers also take very good care of each costume, and by taking care of the costumes the designers give the cast one less thing to worry about. It's their job, and they are only trying to help.
Being prepared is not how ready we are for the show and also making sure the costumes look good, feel good, and being comfortable and confident that we can do everything we need to in them. The Indians should be comfortable and the costume designers won't be wearing the costumes. Having the Indians make their own would do nothing but improve the performance and make us feel so much more ready and prepared for the show.
The costume designers job is to be a costume designer. They should assume full responsibility of this task, and I believe that the show would be better off with the use of the costume designer. Although your arguments are valid, and I understand your point of view, I believe that the costume designers should make everyone's costumes. They are able to unify the show and take the pressure off of Mr. Cooney and other performers who might have trouble getting a costume together.