Meet Genevieve Beller; Costume Designer

Genevieve is a costume designer of stage, tent, and screen. She is thrilled to be returning to the Orlando Family Stage stage, where she began her professional career with How I Became a Pirate in 2009. Since then, she has gone back to school, gotten married, moved to NYC, worked on and off Broadway, embarked on a new career in television and become a mom. It is good to be home.  

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

I’ve always been artistic. More importantly, I’ve always been curious. That curiosity has remained a constant fuel for my creativity. What better place than the theater to stay curious?

What kind of education prepared you for this career?

I studied Costume Design in college and then continued my studies to earn my Master’s degree. I have been very privileged. There are a lot of ways to gain the skills necessary to have a career in costumes. College is one. Another is by using your social skills to talk to people who are doing what you want to do and asking them to share their knowledge with you. Many of the projects that I have built my career on started as a conversation. 

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

Art, obviously. But also history, literature, social studies…even P.E. This job can be surprisingly physical!

What inspirations did you use for the design of The SpongeBob Musical?

The great thing about Bikini Bottom is that anything can happen. The original cartoon referenced all sorts of weird gags from past and future. That gave me permission to go beyond pretty fishies (though there are plenty of those) and get truly strange with homages to music icons like David Bowie and Klaus Nomi. I also took a lot of inspiration from the idea of recycled fashion and the many things you can do with everyday objects imagined in a new way.  

A lot of unusual materials are used in the costumes for this production, what is it like to design and create with non-traditional resources?

A lot of fun! Sometimes it can be challenging to figure out how marry traditional techniques with non-traditional materials…It took us a long time to figure our how to make wigs out of cheer pom poms…but ultimately each new material is a new tool in our toolbox and one less piece of plastic in a landfill. 

SpongeBob looks forward to the “best day ever”, can you describe your best day ever?

I once went on a “Choose Your Own Adventure” date with my now husband where we picked activities and destinations out of envelopes. It was a really fun day exploring our city and I’d love to do it again. 

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

Wacky, Weird and Wonderful.

Get your tickets to see Genenvieve’s designs in The SpongeBob Musical! 

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