The Creative Clothier
To hear costume designer Julia Evanovich speak about the theater scene, you’d think everyone involved just played around all day. The collaborations the different theaters enjoy and the passion with which she discusses her work provide insight into the pleasures of behind-the-scenes work.
Currently, Evanovich works for Theater Schmeater. Around since 1992, the theater now produces shows about everything from technology to Rudy Giuliani’s New York City. It’s some wild stuff. Just read Evanovich’s responses to our questions below. You might even be compelled to join a theater company yourself.
How would you describe Seattle’s theater scene?
Bustling. Seattle’s theater scene is much like a busy family. Everyone has things they focus on—the interests and subject matter range, and there’s always interesting things to work on and new opportunities to collaborate. There are a lot of small production companies trying new angles, a healthy number of mid level established theaters, and a small group of large established theaters. I am very happy to be participant in the Seattle theater arts scene.
How did you get involved with Theater Schmeater, and what keeps you there?
It began shortly after I moved to Seattle in 2005. I saw the production, “Bug,” at Theater Schmeater and knew I wanted to get involved with the type of work Theater Schmeater produces. Then I met the production manager and managing director and worked on a show in 2006. I became the resident costume designer in February 2007. I also freelance in costume design around the community. In the Seattle theater scene, we have lots of opportunities to work together. Theaters loan props and costumes, and designers, directors, stage management, artisans and actors all work at different theaters. This allows us to build relationships across all levels and continue growing. The style fosters new ideas, learning, and continued improvement.
What are some of your favorite past costumes, and are there any in upcoming winter productions that you’re particularly excited about?
Many favorite costumes (and props)! Especially when I get to build something odd or historical—or oversized food costumes. I really enjoy creating a world with the color and textures you mix into the show’s storytelling. Clothes are such a direct expression of our personalities—how we are feeling day to day—in addition to what’s in style in a specific era. Costume design allows me to do some psychological and sociological digging along with the actors and directors. That is chief among the things that keeps me interested in the work.
Where do you celebrate in the city after a performance?
There are lots of fun places to go. I enjoy The Revolver Bar and St John’s Bar and Eatery.