Meet Costume Designer, Amanda Brumby!

Mandy is thrilled to return to Orlando Family Stage! Previous designs include How I Became a Pirate and Ella Enchanted The Musical. She holds an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from Rutgers University and a BA in Theatre Arts from Kent State University, and has developed costumes for many regional theatres, schools, and theme parks. Mandy thanks her sons William and Nathan for inspiring the fun fashions you see in this production.

What inspired you to become a theater maker and costume designer?  

I’ve participated in theatre since about the fifth grade in almost every discipline, and went to college to study theatre.  When I took my first semester Costume Design course and learned more about the industry, I knew it was for me.  Costuming encompasses all the things I’m most interested in: art, history, psychology, and working in a collaborative environment with other creators. 

What kind of education prepared you for this career? 

I have a Bachelors in Theatre from Kent State University and a Masters of Fine arts in Costume Design and Technology from Rutgers University.  I also completed many internships with regional theatres and costuming businesses in New York City.  My favorite was working for Jim Hensen’s Creature Workshop! 

What school subjects that our students may be studying do you use everyday? 

Art was definitely key in my development as a costumer.  Not only do you learn how to draw, but you learn about color theory, creating shapes in space, and creative use of materials.   I also loved any theatre classes I could get.  History, psychology, and sociology help you learn how people relate to each other and how what we wear is a reflection of the time we live in and our experiences and history that shape us into our own unique personalities.  

 What is your favorite part about being a costume designer? 

Working with people who are equally passionate about creating meaningful art! 

How did you collaborate and draw inspiration from the director and other designers for Junie B. Jingle Bells Batman Smells? 

In our early production meetings, we’ve all enjoyed remembering back to our own childhoods: the things we cared about, the things that made us laugh, and the way we viewed the world as children.  Working together we’ve created a world the way a child might envision it. I’m also inspired by my own kids, and wanted to make sure the costumes look the way my kids would choose to dress themselves.  “What clothes make each of these kids feel cool and confident?” is a question I asked a lot during this process.  

Are you using any special techniques or materials to create the costumes for this production? 

We’re employing a few tricks to help our adult actors look and feel more like the children they’re portraying.  One of those is using oversized clothing and garments with simple style lines to soften grown-up bodies.  We also have tons of color, texture, and pattern that sensory-seeking kids enjoy.  A unique problem we have on this show is finding adult-sized clothing with themes that kids enjoy (Dinosaurs! Unicorns! Robots!), so some items we are creating with our own artwork. 

Junie B. is looking forward to the Holiday Sing-a-Long. What are some of your favorite holiday songs to sing or listen to? 

My all-time favorite holiday song is “Silent Night.” I remember feeling super grown up as a child being allowed to hold a lit candle in church with everyone else while singing it.  My family is Christmas-obsessed and we sing together all season long.  The only holiday song I don’t like is “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” It’s so greedy! I petition to change the lyrics on the line “Now give us some figgy pudding” to include the word “please!” 

What are three words you would use to describe this production? 

Silly, memorable, and joyful!

Get your tickets here to see Amanda’s designs!

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