Design and Creation of the Wigs for the Spring Term Production of Jordan Harrison’s Act A Lady: A Comedy at Union College
Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Arts
Theater and Dance
wigs, hair, theater, gender studies, lgbtq, 18th century
This project began due to my need for a thesis when I decided to change my theater minor into a major. I was at a loss for what I wanted that thesis to be. I combined my love of theater with my love of hair and thus this thesis was born. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I took on the project but what I got could never have been expected. I had never taken any sort of theater costume, make-up or hair design class before, however so that seemed like a good place to start. Fall 2022 I took Beyond Cosplay and got my first taste of the world of theatrical design and I enjoyed it. For my final project I created an 18th century wig out of paper that could actually be worn and that sparked conversations surrounding possible materials for the wigs for Act A Lady: A Comedy by Jordan Harrison. Since this play revolves around three men in the midwest “dressing up” as ladies to put on a play for their town we discussed the possibility of using paper or other found materials to make the wigs out of. Well this idea was incorporated into some of the “rehearsal” costumes for the characters as seen from the flour sack for Greta and the baskets for Romola and the countess, we decided to use real hair for the wigs. The wigs could not be switched as often as the “rehearsal” costume pieces were and since the “real” costumes were not made out of found objects we used real hair for the wigs. As far as how realistic the wigs were some historical research went into the ideas behind the costumes but they were as realistic as townsfolk in the 1920s in the midwest would have made 18th century wigs. Another aspect that was taken into account when making the wigs was the current hair of the performers and what changes they were willing to make to their hair, if any.
Birt, Amber, "Design and Creation of the Wigs for the Spring Term Production of Jordan Harrison’s Act A Lady: A Comedy at Union College" (2022). Honors Theses. 2616.