The Defamation of Cicely Lee:
In the Spring of 2020 I was the Costume Designer for The Defamation of Cicely Lee at the American Shakespeare Center under director Stephanie Holladay Earl. The show was written by Emma Whipday for the Shakespeare's New Contemporaries competition at the ASC, it is conversation with Shakespeare's Cymbeline or Imogen as the ASC Tour adapted it. Unfortunately do to the outbreak of COVID 19 we had to cancel the show despite the fact that we were about to have fittings and tech for the show. We managed to get everything built and ready for those fittings however, even though we have had to set it aside for a hopefully later date. It was featured as a zoom reading during the pandemic.
The show is set in 1610-11, Jacobean England, with the majority lower class characters. The story switches between the present and the past, passing through different seasons as the maidservant, Cicely Lee, tells the audience her story. I really wanted to focus the attention on her, so Cicely and those whom she loves the most are in bright colors while everyone else fades into different browns, greys, whites, and blacks like memories.
I researched the time period heavily. My assistant and I worked mainly with historical patterns for all of our builds, mostly the Tudor Tailor, adjusting for different necklines and sizes as we went. We also pulled from the ASC stock to adapt to the time period to be less Elizabethan and more Jacobean. There is a lot of layering for the fast changes in the show through the year that the story takes place.
My assistant and I worked to build all of the pieces that needed building for the show. I built Cicely's Wedding Bodice, Anne Chapple's Dress, Rachel Halpin's Bodice, and Mistress Wintergill's Hood from a pattern. I draped the pattern for Cicely's apron and partlet, as well as William Heron's braies.