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Q&A: Angela Balogh Calin & the Costumes of Man of La Mancha

Pictured: Cynthia Marty, Jeremy Rabb, Michael Uribes, Cassie Simone. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

By A Noise Within
August 1, 2018

As you all know, the critic and audience favorite Man of La Mancha has returned to the stage – and so have the excellent designs of Costume Designer and Resident Artist, Angela Balogh Calin.  We decided to ask her a few questions about her costuming experience, particularly with Man of La Mancha.

Pictured: Cassandra Marie Murphy and Geoff Elliott. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Q: How or why did you get into costuming?
It all began at a fairly young age. Both my parents were visual artists, so I grew up in a creative, unconventional environment surrounded by many of Romania’s leading artists at the time. I used to spend endless hours with our friends in the theatre and very fast I fell in love with the magical world of theatre. I had a great passion for reading, and drawing and turning words and ideas into imagery seemed like an intriguing and exciting profession to me. Once I joined the Visual Arts high school in Bucharest, I decided to become a set and costume designer. This lead to an MFA degree in Scenography (scenic and costume design) from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest.

Pictured: Cynthia Marty, Jeremy Rabb, Michael Uribes, Cassie Simone. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Q: Did you look for inspiration in any particular fashion styles for Man of La Mancha?
For Man of La Mancha, my initial conversation was to decide what period to set the play in. Both Julia and Geoff had the great vision to set the show in today’s world and that gave the direction for the costume design. It was a great choice, a fresh approach using a time period people can easier identify with. My costume research and inspiration included prison wear, various uniform styles, some hints to the actual period when the play was written (the helmet and the chest plate), and a couple of whimsical costume pieces brought into the mix. I always draw inspiration from history books, fashion magazines, photography and art books, and the Internet.

Pictured: Geoff Elliott and Kasey Mahaffy. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Q: What is the most creative/original costume piece you had to pull together? 
I think some of my most memorable costume designs are the Christmas Past and Present in A Christmas Carol, and I’m very fond of the costumes I designed for Pericles, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Figaro, and The Threepenny Opera, among others – all A Noise Within productions.

We are excited to see what other beautiful designs Angela creates in the future at A Noise Within. Be sure to see Angela’s work back on the stage before the show closes.

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