At the Festival:
We arrived on Tuesday around noon, and I had until five to set up my display, so after registering and checking-in to our hotel I moved on to setting up my display with the help of some friends. My display consisted of a trifold display with my renderings, a photo album, the program from the show, and my renderings with notes from the costume shop. In addition, we brought a mannequin that wore the character Sandrine’s dress, which was the one costume I built entirely for our performance.
The gallery the exhibit was housed held Costume Design, Lighting Design, Set Design, and stage managing books (sound and prop design were in a different space). All of the categories are judged separately, but displayed together. There were two other designers who presented Almost, Maine, but they were both set designs. I don’t know, off the top of my head, how many designers presented work. It was probably somewhere between 50 and 80.
After setting up, the exhibit was on display for the rest of the festival, but I wouldn’t have my critique until Friday. Critiques are open to pubic viewing, and a good portion of the cast and crew showed up to watch. I was overwhelmed by the support they gave me, as I had presented my designs alone for Anton. I was the third designer critiqued, and the review consisted of three minuets for me to speak about my work and two minuets for critique from the respondent. He complimented my drawings and work overall and only had a few notes to make conceding my overall display.
At the end of the week, after taking down my display I was given a written review that was made before my verbal critique. It read, “Stunning—Beautiful sketches & excellent designs.”. This was all happening during our performances of Much Ado, so I missed the regional and merit award ceremony for DTM. After I learned that I didn’t win regionals, I decided that I wasn’t going to go to closing ceremonies to hear the national winner announced (in part because I was sick at the time) as I assumed there was no way I could possibly win nationals.
It wasn’t until that evening, around ten, that I learned about the award, by multiple texts from those of our crew who had gone to the ceremony. I knew the rest of our crew was in the next room, so I left my room to let them know, and when I closed the door I was met with the cast already barreling toward me, led by Danny Gray. It was all very exciting and certainly took my mind off my cold.
Currently I’m designing costumes for some of the pieces in the February Dance concert. In April I’ll be attending the National KCACTF conference in Washington DC. There I’ll be invited to take part in a few extensive workshops, watch invited productions from the other regional conferences and once more display my designs from Almost, Maine.