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100 Creatives 2012: Macy Perrone, Costume Designer

The Nacarima Society at the Ensemble Theatre
The Nacarima Society at the Ensemble Theatre

If you've gone to the theater in Houston, chances are you've seen costume designer Macy Perrone's work. She recently worked on Dog Act for Main Street Theater; that show was filled with apocalyptic scavengers that had a steam punk vibe. She also costumed the comedy The Nacirema Society at the Ensemble Theatre. Nacirema Society was set in the 1960s and centered on a wealthy black family. That required lots of lush period pieces as well as clothing that showed the difference between wealthy blacks from the south and working class African Americans from the north. During a formal dinner scene, one character, played by Joyce Anastasia, was dressed in a gown with a large bow across the chest, the end running all the way to the floor (see above).

"[Joyce Anastasia] is hilarious and her character is so funny," Perrone tells us. "That dress was something I fought for because when I initially put the bow on the front, [the director] was convinced that that was just silly, but I was convinced in my mind that that's how it had to be. It was perfect for her character. When we got her in front of an audience, they loved it.

"It's my job to help visually tell the story and for that character, that dress told you a lot about her," says Perrone, who, originally from Utah, came to Houston in 2006 to work with the Houston Grand Opera.

Comedy of Errors at Utah State University Theater
Comedy of Errors at Utah State University Theater
Photo courtesy of Macy Perrone

Why she likes it: "There is nothing more satisfying to me than to sit in a theater and see my work onstage. I still remember the first time I worked on a show and how it felt to think people were going to see my work.

"On every show I do, I work with a lot of really talented people and together we come up with a cohesive piece of art that people can come and see. I do pay a lot of attention to the actor, to making them as good as they can -- or as bad as they can, if that's what their character calls for." Perrone loves shopping for costume pieces and relishes that "eureka" moment when she finds what she thinks is the perfect piece. "I feel it in my gut when a piece is right -- I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I love finding pieces, getting them on the actors and then having the actors use it. Just like that bow on that dress, it emphasized her character."

What inspires her: "The actors inspiring me. It's hard to read a script and visualize it so I really like going to rehearsals and seeing the actors as they're building their characters. That inspires me; it helps me to find a direction for that character that I may not have seen on the page when I read the script."

If not this, then what:"I can't even imagine," she moans. After a pause, she adds, "I used to tell people, if I wasn't a costumer, I'd be an economist, but really I don't know. I think economics are fascinating, but really I have a passion for theater and for the arts. I love creating something new every time I do show."

If not here, then where: "I would like to live in Colorado, or Chicago, because there's a good theater scene there."

What's next: At the time of our conversation, she was working on four different shows: Cinderella for the Ensemble Theatre, From My Mother's Mother for HGOco, and Little House on Prairie for a local youth theater group. More shows are already on her schedule.

More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Elsa Briggs, Painter, jewelry maker Baldemar Rodriguez, film director/producer and actor Linarejos Moreno, photographer Heather Rainwater, artist, jewelry maker Detria Ward, actress and entrepreneur Justin Cronin, book author Mark Ivy, actor Lauren Luna, painter and shoe designer Sarah Cortez, writer Kent Dorn, drawer, painter, artist Lillian Warren, painter Carl Lindahl, folklorist, UH professor Sutapa Ghosh, film producer and Indian Film Festival of Houston organizer Tom Stell, actor, writer, director Gregory Oaks, teacher and Poison Pen co-founder Oliver Halkowich, dancer and performer Lupe Mendez, poet and poem pusher Jason Nodler, artistic director, playwright, director Ana Treviño-Godfrey, musician Matthew Detrick, classical musician Travis Ammons, filmmaker Florence Garvey, actress Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist JoDee Engle, dancer David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor Jessica Janes, actress and musician Dennis Draper, actor and director Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist Adriana Soto, jewelry designer Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof Patrick Turk, visual artist Elizabeth Keel, playwright Bob Martin, designer Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer Jeremy Wells, painter George Brock, theater teacher Radu Runcanu, painter Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright


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