Artist Spotlight: Jocelyne Fowler

BLOOD/WATER/PAINT [ Mainstage production, Feb. 2015]

Role: Costume Designer


What about the story of Artemisia, or the play Blood/Water/Paint are you most intrigued by right now?
What intrigues me most about Artemisia is how ahead of her time she is, especially in regards to women’s rights and even what women were allowed to do in everyday life.  She was an amazingly strong woman who risked everything to her (her hands which are her livelihood) in order to make herself be heard and believed.  I am also amazed that I had never heard of her before coming on this project.

What part of working on Blood/Water/Paint are you most excited about?
I think what excites me most about this project is reworking a period look and shifting it a little to make it easier for the actors to work in and well as compliment the way the script is written and presented.  I think by using a period silhouette with some more modern touches (not using corsets or layers of petticoats, crinolines and padding) I can inform the audience that this is a story from the past as well as link it to the script which is rooted in modern language and storytelling.

Throughout the process so far, what has been the biggest challenge for you?
I think the biggest challenge has been working around the “Mess” that the play calls for.  Artemisia is a painter so she will need to be covered in paint, this means I can not borrow this costume from another costume stock in the city, I must create it so it can be distressed, etc.  The script also calls for blood which once again means I cannot borrow anything that will have blood on it or have the chance to get bloody, it must be built.  So I think the real challenge that we are still working through is how to strategically use blood and try to minimize contact with clothing that can not get bloody, because this is a period and partial built show the majority of the clothing is not machine washable so we have to take that into consideration for certain scenes, etc.

What is your favorite piece by Artemisia Gentileschi? Tell us about it, and why you love it!
Of the few paintings of hers that I know, my favorite is “Judith beheading Holofernes” painted roughly in 1618-1620, in which Judith is in a Yellow Gown.  I love this painting because of the amount of blood she has painted in, Artemisia is not afraid to show that this would have been a very bloody scene and it shows in the blood spray.

Tell us about any upcoming projects  that you’re excited about!
I am currently working on multiple shows: Carnival with Bellevue College, Avenue Q with Youth Theatre Northwest, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Sacred Heart School, Young Frankenstein with Nathan Hale High School and Treasure Island with SecondStory Repertory.  A lot of my upcoming shows are with students and I love to see that theatre is helping to bring confinence and public speaking skills to younger generations and it is also fostering hopefully a group of people who might make theatre for a living or might just become theatre patrons which will keep this wonderful industry alive.

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Jocelyne Fowler has designed for Book-It Repertory Theatre (Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, Anna Karenina, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), Seattle Shakespeare Company (Richard II), Wooden O (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V and The Tempest), Bellevue College (Into the Woods and Dead Man’s Cell Phone), Seattle Musical Theatre (Young Frankenstein and Legally Blonde), Youth Theatre Northwest (Spring Awakening, Shrek: The Musical, Little Women, and The Sound of Music), Harlequin Productions (Clybourne Park, Jesus Christ Superstar), SecondStory Repertory (Velveteen Rabbit, Chess: The Musical) and other local theatres.   Upcoming work can be seen in Carnival with Bellevue College, Blood/Water/Paint with Live Girls! and Avenue Q at Youth Theatre Northwest.