There are many creative costume ideas for the 1969 Stephen Schwartz musical "Godspell." You can pick almost any theme and apply it to the musical and incorporate your own vision into the work. Since its Broadway opening, different productions of "Godspell" have shown different themes and your production is limited only by your imagination.
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The '60s make a great era to set the musical, especially because it debuted during that decade. In a hippie-themed production, Jesus, Jeffrey, Judas and the other apostles would have long hair, bell-bottomed jeans and tie-dyed shirts. The women can tie long strips of brightly patterned cloth around their heads. This costume theme would use a palette of oranges, sky blues, pinks, neon greens and yellows.
Costumier Susan Tsu developed the clown theme for the Toronto production that went on for many years. The characters are dressed in clown costumes with suspenders, clown make-up and brightly coloured large trousers. The clowns can quickly change costume pieces as they tell the different parables. It also allows Jesus and Judas to do a soft-shoe dance at one point.
The musical is set on the streets of New York, and a costumier can create a Rent-like feel by dressing the actors as homeless people. A few of the characters may be dressed as bohemian artists, while the others could wear ragged, dirty clothes that are mismatched and worn for warmth and protection. The layered clothing allows the performers to take off and put on different items as they tell the different parables.
For a director that wants a futuristic look, consider turning the characters into aliens. Use wild make-up instead of masks, so the actors can still sing and make facial expressions. Put everyone in synthetic shiny costumes or even add extra limbs. Supplement the costumes with technological gadgets and give everyone hats that change the shape of their heads and ears.
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