"Costumes are visually stunning . . ."

- Barbora Příhodová, Thinking Dance

History/Description

In the summer of 2019, White Box Theatre (WBT) worked in collaboration with Shakespeare in Clark Park (SCP) to create the visual environment for their performance of King Lear. White Box Theatre wanted to anchor the performance in one part of the park with big swaths of color that would create an environment rather than a set – visceral, immediate, and ephemeral. Inside of the environment, we wanted the costumes to support storytelling by making family and country allegiances clear through color-coding. Visually, we wanted to create a kind of fantasy game board, rather than making the story specific to a time or place. As always, White Box Theatre worked a small group of professional visual artists and interns to discuss the story and then design and build the world.

Since 2005, Shakespeare in Clark Park has been producing free outdoor performances for audiences of up to 1500 per night for five nights in July. Shakespeare in Clark Park has a tradition of combining professional actors and designers with community members, this year working with Play on Philadelphia, a youth orchestra, Veterans from Philadelphia’s Impact Services organization, as well as a community chorus comprised of volunteer performers.

". . . Lear takes it one step forward, wearing . . . an enormous cape comprising a map of Britain: he literally pulls the world in his wake. . ."

- Jennifer Kramer, PlayShakespeare

Performance Stills

Production Stills

In the Studio

". . . visually, it worked perfectly. . ."

- Louis Whittington, Alternatetakes2

". . . best outdoor activity. . ."

- Philadelphia Magazine

Collaborators

Commissioning Organization: Shakespeare in Clark Park
Artistic Director & Performance Director, Shakespeare in Clark Park: Kittson O’Neill
Set Design and Fabrication & Costume Design and Fabrication: Sebastienne Mundheim/White Box Theatre
Studio-Makers: Jennifer Best, Crys Clemente, Anna DeCaria, Melissa MacNair, Margaret Wells.
Special Thanks: Arden Kass, Sara Labov, Jamie Merwin, Diane O’Neill, Charlotte Russell, and Stephen Shuster.

Photo Credits: Kyle Cassidy, Sebastienne Mundheim.

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Interdisciplinary Performances