I did extensive research for Tony Kushner's beautiful adaptation of S. Ansky's classic play, immersing myself in the dress and customs of turn-of-the-century Jewish Poland. The director Brian Kulick challenged me to create a town of distinct individuals within a very limited color palette. Using the personalities of our wonderful cast as inspiration, I highlighted everyone's uniqueness with texture, proportion and different beards and hats. It was an incredible experience sourcing costume pieces for the show in the vibrant Hasidic neighborhoods of New York City, where shopkeepers generously helped me find what I needed and explained how items were worn. I'll never forget the experience of going to a Lubavitcher wedding in Crown Heights with the choreographer Naomi Goldberg and dancing arm-in-arm with the women's bridal party to celebrate the ecstatic young bride and groom. The band The Klezmatics played live for our show, styled in my shtetl garb. Their album Posessed features some of the songs they wrote for the production, which bring back memories of an extraordinary experience.
Adaptation by Tony Kushner • Translation by Joachim Neugroschel
Director: Brian Kulick
Set Design: Mark Wendland • Lighting Design: Mimi Jordan Sherin
Cast: Ümit Çelebi, Joyce Chittick, Joan Copeland, Robert Dorfman, Nina Goldman, Marin Hinkle, Stephen Kunken, Ron Liebman, David Lipman, Chiristopher McCann, Hillel Meltzer, Eve Michelson, Joshua Mostel, Lola Pashalinski, Bernie Passeltiner, Marcell Rosenblatt, Ed Shea, Michael Stuhlbarg, Daniel Wright and Stuart Zagnit.
Photos: Michal Daniel