This winter I was scheduled to costume design The Miracle Worker before the pandemic hit. I, being someone who loves research, had already started doing some even though the production wasn't until the end of the year. While being stuck in my small apartment I had also started playing around with sketching pieces for practice and something to do. After I got the email that my production had been pulled from the season, I put my work on the back burner and wasn't sure if I'd pick it up again.
Recently I have picked up actively searching for design work, yet the pandemic continues, and most theatres and film studios remain closed. I decided to revisit The Miracle Worker and just focus on Annie at the moment. A mini paper project if you will.
The left image is a fully digital drawing/collage I did back a few months ago when the production was still on the schedule. I was just playing around with blending Annie Sullivan's actual face into a few collage pieces and a digitally drawn body. I didn't put too much emphasis on my specific research then as I was focusing more on the digital aspect of my drawing. The image on the right is something I did recently. It is a quick sketch with pencil and paper of a few accessories and some notes about where Annie was in her life when we meet her in The Miracle Worker. She had just finished school and had undergone at least three unsuccessful eye surgeries to help her regain more of her sight. I thought slightly more about how she would compare socially to the Kellers and looked at the many photography portraits of her and Helen to get insight into her sense of style. Although portraits are great resources, they are usually staged and formal sittings so the sitter tends to be wearing their best clothes.
There is still a lot of work to be done before presenting this to a director or production team, but it was nice to have a quick little exercise to get me back into combining my love of research with the story being told. If I end up designing The Miracle Worker in the future I will most likely decide to go a completely different direction than I was headed here, especially since theatre is a collaborative art, which is something I have missed dearly this year.