Costume and Set Design
2003 Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People; Guillermo Verdecchia Dir.
A leader such as Nelson Mandela is easily characterized as a savior and saint, but in order to truly motivate us, the saint must also be a man. Woven through narrative and ancestral storytelling, Mandela’s extraordinary life is brought to light.
Set Design notes. The rolling fertile land reaches out its wings to embrace the untouchable sky ‘Childhood’. The set is a large rolling hill, at its top runs a stage width ramp suggesting journey and endless expanse. The stage depth is staggered with flats and borders that suggest rhythmic mountain ranges and distant smoke stacks. As the sky resounds thunder the flats track in and borders crane down “Apartheid”. Ritual fires burn, calling upon ancestral powers to spirit us on to ‘Freedom’.
Costume Design notes. Actors play a multitude of roles, from tribal Xhosa dress to urban to the eclecticism of Johannesburg in the 60s. Clothing becomes a defining element in the visual statement of identity, colour and class.