UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 5 | Mar.
Pair tackle Creation for dramatic thesis
Learning takes stage for Fine Arts students
by Michelle Cook staff writer
If the prospect of defending your thesis in front of a panel
of professors makes you nervous, just ask Angelina Kekich and Stephen
Drover about presenting theirs to a paying audience of theatregoers
-- 10 nights in a row.
The double thesis project for the two Master of Fine Arts students
is a production of The Creation, opening at the Chan Centre's
Telus Studio on March 13.
Theatre Dept. faculty paired up Drover, the play's director, and
Kekich, its costume designer, last September to work on staging
the play, an adaptation of the medieval mystery cycles which dramatized
Bible stories about man's creation, fall and redemption. Drover
chose the play in order to explore how theatre can help us understand
ourselves and our relationship to God.
Although the script, taken from a 1996 production staged by the
Royal Shakespeare Company, is a newer version of the medieval plays,
it satisfied Drover's interest in archaic texts.
"I'm interested in theatre's roots as a form of ritual, story telling
and myth telling. It was a rich period of theatre," Drover says.
In addition to learning "a million" small things about directing
a cast of 13 actors and a production crew of 45, Drover says his
most valuable lesson has been discovering how to tell an original
story on stage.
"A story like this comes with hundreds of years of interpretation
and opinion," Drover explains. "These are Bible stories that we
hear all our lives, and the actors and I bring that baggage to the
play. I had to drop that and find the play's human qualities."
Kekich's collaboration with Drover began with a series of meetings
to discuss his vision for the presentation, including the lighting,
music, characters and what they would wear.
"As a costume designer you do what the director wants. You have
to be able to read his mind," Kekich explains.
An experienced fashion designer with film work under her belt,
Kekich relished the challenge of creating 40 original costumes with
a timeless look that would not be adapted from already existing
For her research, Kekich looked at Byzantine, early Gothic, Cambodian
and Tibetan clothing styles and scoured fashion magazines for modern
In addition to conceptualizing the look for The Creation
with hand-drawn and computerized sketches, Kekich's thesis work
has included managing a costume design budget, and working with
fabric dyers, cutters and sewers in the Frederic Wood Theatre's
"People think costume design is a hokey pokey thing," Kekich says.
"They don't realize the work and research that it takes. It's a