Magic & Mayhem Artist Interviews: Claire Townsend

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Meet Claire Townsend! 

Costume designer Claire Townsend created over 15 original masks to be worn in our '17-'18 season opener, Magic & Mayhem. Masks will be available for purchase after the show. Buy your tickets!  

Claire, how did you get into costuming? 

I started in a fashion foundation at London College of Fashion and had a one week intro to Theatre Costuming as part of that course and absolutely loved it. I found it immensely rewarding to create clothes for real people with personalities and quirks, and getting to learn about their histories and stories. So I jumped over to Costume Design instead.

What sources of inspiration do you draw from for your pieces?

For inspiration I always start with the text, invariably there are images within a text that will point me in a direction to start researching. I also look at period sources: art, fashion and architecture from the period, as well as modern art to help create an atmosphere or mood.

What is your favorite kind of garment to make?

That's a hard one! I love fantasy, but I really love creating garments in which I am working with a challenge, for example garments that have to function a specific way in a certain scene; it's fun for me to create something beautifully designed but also be functional, practical, and have an element of magic to get it to do what the performer wants it to do in a scene.

What is your dream show to costume?

Alice in Wonderland! But I am also itching to design Pagliacci. They both have such rich characters and a element of surrealism. I love designing shows where there is a balance of creating different worlds and seeing how characters change within each habitat.

Please visit Claire's website at