Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
Berkeley Playhouse, Berkeley, July 2012
I was excited to get the opportunity to design my own version of Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory for three reasons: creating Willy Wonka’s coat, designing Oompa-Loompas, and figuring out Violet Beauregarde’s blueberry quick change, all of which turned out to be the production’s biggest costume challenges. For Wonka’s coat I turned to the original book illustrations for inspiration, but used the mid-seventies setting to add an early punk flair which departed sharply from the traditional, more conservative interpretations of the coat found in pop culture. For Violet, she had to quick change on stage from her “Before” look to her “After” in full view of the audience, so it had to be quick and simple, yet immediately recognizable. The quick-change blueberry I constructed out of 1” upholstery foam covered with fabric to match Violet’s costume.