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Old Stagers: Costume in the Theatre

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first_imgCostume is an integral, if not essential, part of any piece of drama – be it stage, film, or serialisation. It would certainly be a shock if actors entered the stage sans costume, that is to say stark naked. In the case of many prestigious actors – Judi Dench, Richard Griffiths, Patrick Stewart – the sensation would be an entirely unwelcome one. Some productions might be fittingly performed without clothes on, however. Pinter’s Birthday Party, for example, would be absurd if the actors performed in their birthday suits.It is taken for granted in most forms of theatre that costume is a part of the illusion of reality on stage used to create suspension of disbelief. It is easy to bring to mind period dramas where every element of costume is painstakingly reproduced to an incredible degree of accuracy. There was even a fad in the nineteenth century called ‘archaeological realism’ in which costumes and sets were historically accurate to the point of having actual functioning war engines on stage during siege scenes. However, this is an extraordinary length to go to in order to establish suspension of disbelief – too far, in fact, were the siege engines to go off accidentally.Consider a school nativity play: a horse costume does not have to look exactly like a horse in order to tell the audience of beaming parents that the character actually is a horse and to capture their attention (however, small children may attempt to authenticate this by urinating on stage). In fact, the real function a costume serves is to tell the audience something about the character wearing it. In some modern theatre, the actors will simply wear neutral, black clothes; they can change character easily, the spectacle of the costume doesn’t detract from the action on stage, and any individual detail of costume employed stands out much more.Sometimes, the idea of costume at all is a hindrance. Some performances of forum theatre are conducted in a public space, without making it known that the drama is a fiction; the actors then try to get any spectators of the action involved. The whole idea, in this instance, is to appear inconspicuous – the actors do not want to alert the public to the fact that a performance, as such, is happening. Costume becomes ‘anti-costume’: it attempts to show that the character is not a character at all.So, thesps: dress up, dress down, or take a leaf out of Daniel Radcliffe’s book and undress. Avoid horses, though. There are laws about that. Whatever you do, you’re showing us a part of your character.By Ryan Hockinglast_img read more

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Men’s, women’s hockey bring 4 titles to Madison

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first_imgThe men\’s hockey team celebrates their 2006 NCAA National Championship.[/media-credit]Change and success were the themes for Wisconsin’s hockey programs this decade. Both the men’s and women’s teams introduced new head coaches for the 2002-03 seasons, and the teams won a combined four national titles.The 2000s saw the Wisconsin hockey family gain a new member, as the women’s program began with the 1999-2000 season and quickly became the school’s most successful team.The legacy Badger Bob Johnson started in the ’60s with the men’s team was continued after his son Mark took over behind the women’s bench. The UW women won national titles in 2006, 2007 and 2009, and lost in the championship game in 2008. Wisconsin’s four consecutive appearances in the national title game are an NCAA record.Since 2000, the women have lost just 57 games, and Johnson is the winningest active Division I coach by winning percentage (.815). Johnson’s teams are 210-39-22-3, with three WCHA regular season and playoff titles each.Johnson saw arguably two of the greatest women’s hockey players ever go through Wisconsin in Sara Bauer and Jessie Vetter. Bauer scored the 10th-most career points in D-I history, netting 72 (24-48-72) during the 2006-07 season. Vetter owns almost every NCAA goaltending mark, ranking first in save percentage (.941), wins (91) and shutouts (39). She finished her collegiate career second to only fellow Badger Christine Dufour in goals against average (1.19 to 1.09).Wisconsin’s all-time points leader, Mike Eaves, took over the men’s team from Jeff Seuer and wasted little time in replicating his predecessor’s success. Eaves is 154-116-36 as the team’s head coach with one national title and four NCAA appearances.The men’s program saw its share of quality players in the 2000s as well. Goaltender Bernd Bruckler was named a First-Team All-American in 2004 — UW’s first goaltender to make the first team since 1980. In Dany Heatley and Kyle Turris, the Badgers had their highest-drafted players ever, Heatley going second overall and Turris third. Defenseman Jamie McBain was the 2009 WCHA Player of the Year, and forward Joe Pavelski followed up a successful UW career by playing for the San Jose Sharks.A banner year for both programs, Wisconsin became the first school to win national titles in both men’s and women’s hockey in 2006. The women went 36-4-1, defeating rival Minnesota 3-0 in the title game. The men posted their seventh 30-win season, beating Boston College at the Bradley Center 2-1 en route to a 30-10-3 record.With the dominance of the women’s team and continued success of the men, Wisconsin established itself as one of — if not — the premiere hockey school of the 2000s. Who can argue with four combined NCAA championships in five appearances?last_img read more

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