Arts & Life
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This article was published 10/4/2014 (2389 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brenda McLean wears many hats for her job — literally and figuratively.
She can be found both onstage and backstage in the theatre industry. In addition to being the head of wardrobe at Prairie Theatre Exchange (Y300-393 Portage Ave.), she is also an actress. McLean is playing the part Christina in the play Fefu and Her Friends. The play is running from May 22 to June 1 at Ralph Connor House (54 West Gate). Tickets are $20, but students and seniors pay $15. To purchase tickets or find out about showtimes, visit sarasvati.ca
"The play is about the strange death of a young woman who arrives at a house with seven other women for a seemingly simple tea party," McLean, a West End resident, said. "The play looks at these women’s struggles to connect and identify with each other, even though they are all suffering from the same mysterious pain. My character Christina certainly doesn’t want to look at her own pain and instead diverts her eyes from what is right in front of her."
McLean said her character questions Fefu’s actions as Fefu stirs up a lot of conflict.
"For instance, Fefu, at the beginning of the play, picks up a shotgun and starts shooting out the window at her husband," McLean said. "Christina is shocked by this and she’s not sure why she’s acting so aggressively. And Fefu says that it excites her. Christina feels that maybe she is going a little overboard."
Fefu and Her Friends was written in the 1970s but the story takes place in the 1930s.
"I’m just performing in this one, which is good because I can focus on the performance of it," McLean said when asked if she was in charge of the wardrobe for the production. "That’s the (job of the) head of wardrobe at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People."
As head of wardrobe at the PTE, McLean’s job is to either build or purchase costumes for the shows.
"I look like a bit of a shopaholic sometimes," she said.
McLean said her favourite outfits to design are costumes that mix different time periods together.
"Things that aren’t necessarily historically accurate, but with elements from that time and being playful with them and having fun with it," McLean said.
Right now, McLean is designing costumes for Shakespeare in the Ruins’ production of Comedy of Errors, to be performed this spring.
"It takes a good couple of weeks to start doing the research and putting ideas down on paper," McLean said of planning the wardrobe for Comedy of Errors. "Then you’d get some feedback on that. The designer probably takes a couple of weeks to design it, and then we build it within three weeks."
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