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Still Life with Rocket

UNCSA School of Drama Spring 2019

Director: Mollye Maxner

Scenic Design: Erin Ashbaugh, Nadir Bey, Taja Seafus

Lighting Design: Nico Schiavone

Wig and Makeup Design: Harley Haberman

Production Photos


This production of Still Life with Rocket was the second phase of a devised work conceived and directed by Mollye Maxner.


An ensemble of drama students and our creative team came together to explore a series of "knowns" from which was created a unique immersive theatrical experience. The "knowns" consisted of character names, age ranges, possible occupations, and locations.


As a Costume Designer, I'm accustomed to first analyzing a text, then coming together with a Director and creative team to establish common ground which leads us to the concept and approach. We concieve our designs and present them to the cast.


In the case of this devised piece, the performers were our text. I was able to attend rehearsals and observed how actors interacted with one another through improvisation. In addition, we had weekly meetings to discuss what they were discovering about their characters. We all brought in visual inspiration and collaboratively assessed how the characters would ultimately present themselves.


The show ended up being set in rural, modern-day West Virginia. The clothing was straightforward – with lots of denim, t-shirts, sneakers, and boots. The Hair and Makeup designer (Harley Haberman) and I were constantly reminding each other that our work needed to remain "invisible". This would not be a show where the audience members walked out saying "those costumes and wigs were incredible!" Instead, everything needed to look incredibly "real!” We were able to achieve this by making specific, intentional choices in tandem with the performers while allowing the characters and story to evolve organically. The show turned out to be one of the most significant performance art pieces that I've ever experienced. I felt full of love, laughter, anger, and tears – all the while moving through issues of family, obligation, addiction, illness, sexual orientations, and race relations. Everyone involved was mutually impacted, taking both pleasure and pride in telling this amazing story.

General Research Images

Renderings and Research

Young Etta copy.jpg
Caleb copy.jpg
Nathan copy.jpg
Gideon copy.jpg
Piper copy.jpg
Tracy copy.jpg
Etta 2.jpg
Caleb 2.jpg
Etta 3.jpg
Cyrus 2.jpg
Nathan 2.jpg

Assistant Costume Designer: Andrew Walsh

Costume Shop Manager: Matt Dempsey

Drapers: Matthew Campbell, Olivia Dilworth, Lauren Dunlop, Rebecca T. Eckes, Trey Grey, Taylor Newell,  Katherine Swanson, Miranda Poskin, Carolyn Walker & Hunter Stansell

First Hands: Olivia Alicandri, Kenan Burchette, Alejandra Marie Cortez, Jocelyn DuBose, Bee Gable, Ashley Heller, Melina Hernandez, Lizzie Lovett, Kristen Mendez, Karen Milla, Maya Patrick, Will Kerns Stanley, Jenna Travis & Keyon Woods

Stitchers: Tutu Anderson,  Abby Eubanks, Eric Hill, Erin Justice, Amy Laliberty, Elizabeth Marsh, Natosha Martin, Jessica Matson, Mac McClary, George Maltzer, Kendall Myers, Johnna Presby, Hannah Ferkol, Maggie Tennant, Meredith Laws, Josh Haglund, Isabelle Bushue, Julissa Lopez, Parker Robertson, Chandler Bryant, Corina Matos Aguilera, Amanda Wingo

Crafts Head: Emily Brink

Crafts Artisan: Dale Jones

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