Bringing The Characters To Life: Theater Crew

Bringing The Characters To Life: Theater Crew

Gracie Salabye, Reporter

Highland theater students always know how to put on a play, from capturing the audience’s attention to pulling on their heartstrings. By amazing acting and wonderful set design. But one thing that brings the whole play together is the costume and makeup. They help bring the characters to life and display what kind of character they’re like. This is all thanks to the makeup and costume crew that works behind the scenes but is of significant importance. 

Working on a play takes a lot of time and effort from everybody working together. Recently, the Highland Theater Program performed “The Outsiders” by author S.E Hinton and directed by Laura Hardy, Mack Garber, and Francis DeClair from February ninth to the eleventh where a lot of action and emotion was seen throughout the play leaving the audience in shock and amusement. 

Each character had a different style that matches both their personality and the group they were associated with. Such as the Greasers all having a grunge style that consisted of leather jackets, scruffed-up jeans, and a color palette of red, black, and white. While the Socials had a more preppy style consisting of knitted cardigans, neat dresses, and a bright color palette of white, blue, and beige. These style choices helped set the characters apart from each other. 


Another element that is important to bring the character together is the hairstyle. Everyone has a unique hairstyle that is significant to them, especially characters. In “The Outsiders” the Greasers are seen with slick back hair which was popular in the 1950s when Greasers started to become well known and some had bandanas. Then the Socials had a more classy look. The men had a side part slicked back to the sides and the women had braids or a headband to separate their hair from their faces. 

The person behind the scenes creating these hairstyles is no other than Martzia Lopez. This tenth-grade student always liked styling hair since she was younger and would “practice on my mom or my sister or myself. So when I found out that I could do this for theater I knew that this was something I wanted to do” said Lopez. This student is following what she loves the most, which is being a hairstylist, and sees herself going to cosmetology school to become one in the future. 

Just like most jobs, being a hairstylist can be difficult at times with different obstacles getting in the way such as trying “to design around the actors’ hair types” and finding a hairstyle “they’re comfortable with, while also having it fit the character and costume” Lopez added. Stress comes with being a hairstylist but also brings new experiences and getting to know the people you work with. Behind the scenes “it’s always so much fun to work with all of the amazing cast and crew” and “you get a lot of experience while doing what you love” Lopez stated.

Lastly, when trying to portray a character in real life it’s important to add every small detail to their appearance, not just their style. That’s where senior makeup artist Kathryn Apuan steps in. This young makeup artist will be working on the upcoming play “Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the first time but is “already having a lot of fun with it” Apuan said. There were times when it was hard collaborating with the costume designers and other makeup artists but in the end, they always came to a compromise leaving everyone satisfied. 

Doing different actors’ and actresses’ makeup may seem scary when trying to settle down on a certain makeup look but “the whole crew I am working with is so fun and creative so it’s truly amazing to get to work with them” Apuan mentioned. Being a makeup artist intrigued Apuan by how it gave her a chance to grow and express her creativity through makeup and getting to know everyone around her. While Apuan doesn’t see herself pursuing the position of makeup artist in the future, others who are interested can have a start by working with the Highland theater program to gain experience and overall do what they love. 

The amount of work and time that is put into plays is always something we should appreciate. From the actors and actresses themselves to the set designers and lighting techs but especially the people who work backstage making the actors look true to their character with costumes, makeup, and hairstyles. Through collaboration, creativity, and passion, hair stylists, costume designers, and makeup artists have successfully brought these characters to life so they can shine on stage.