Photography by Chuck St. John

William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Lear is exactly that — tragic. Filial ingratitude, betrayal, deception, torture, madness, suicide, murder… what better way to spend a fall term in college? This fall, Samford’s theatre department has asked MUSE OF FIRE: Shakespeare at Sloss creator Elizabeth Hunter to tackle the Bard’s “unstageable play” with a production that’s one part feudal China and two parts haute couture. Staged in Brock Theatre, the university’s formal recital hall, the production uses Brock itself as the set, which allows for an even brighter spotlight on the stunning student-designed, student-created costumes. Photographer Chuck St. John stopped by rehearsal recently to capture a few of the play’s signature moments for this month’s B-Metro pictorial. Make special note of your favorite pieces. When the curtain comes down, they’re all for sale in the university’s costume shop. Christmas is right around the corner …

PHOTOS: Feudal China, haute couture and a little Cirque de Soliel characterizes the style of costume design for Lear, created by Samford student costume designers, Jacquelyn Achord and Christian Noojin. (Look for Goneril’s dress to transform from ball gown to cobra snake hood later in the play!) Every look for the production of Lear was designed by Samford students.  For a show of this size it takes of ten and two-hour makeup calls for the performers. Edmund the Bastard Son’s transforming tattoo was designed by Birmingham tattoo artist Kele Sparrowhawk and refined by Samford student Alexis Robinson (the tattoo is applied with a temporary tattoo ink). The cast includes: Samford philosophy professor Dennis Sansom as King Lear, Alyssa Rambo as Lear’s fool, Sarah Fort as Regan, Magdalena Laws as Goneril, Shelby Bush as Cordelia, Hannah and Madelyn Muse as Goneril’s ladies in waiting. For more details on the costume sales after the show’s run, contact Mary Gurney at 205-726-2512.

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