Costume Designer Clint Ramos Turns Trash Into Treasure in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Costume Designer Clint Ramos Turns Trash Into Treasure in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND


BETH: Tony-winning designer Clint Ramos’ work in the Broadway revival of ONCE ON THIS
ISLAND is nothing short of breathtaking. Inspired by devastating images of storm-ravaged
Haiti, Ramos elevates everyday discarded objects into works of art. Watch as he reveals subtle details that add
layers to the storytelling in this imaginative production. –The art for the gods begins with
something really mundane. We have specific characters for them. So this is
Alex Newell who plays Asaka earth mother goddess. It begins as really a
tablecloth and that it evolved into this big ball skirt. And it’s paired with like
an ordinary Jersey that her character wears from the beginning. And we also
used some sort of discarded flowers for her headdress. It creates sort of this
juxtaposition between the mundane and the divine. You know just the theatrical
and the ordinary. This is the costume for Erzuli, played by Lea Salonga. It’s made
out of mosquito netting because her character distributes mosquito netting
to the people in the beginning. And she’s also a nurse, so the belt is made out of
stethoscopes. On her head is a nest of discarded USB cables, you know. It’s
basically garbage that the hurricane has produced. And these light up in during
her number. Sort of working with that idea of the
discarded becoming the divine, Ti Moune really is the perfect example of that as
a character, you know. She is abandoned as a child and she becomes the goddess in
the end. So this is made out of like these silk flowers, silk hibiscus. And it
has a long red train that goes through the audience. It’s quite a sort of
theatrical feat, really, yeah. — Whether it’s soda cans repurposed into
demon’s scales or plastic bags forming the water God’s beard, Ramos’ ability to
turn trash into treasure reveals the gritty heart of this new production. –The
revival is really more like a reimagined revisal, you know? It keeps the spirit of
the original production but it catapults us to the present. It catapults us to
what is important to us now as a world community. It makes the storytelling more
immediate, I suppose, because we really reference people who are suffering right
now, and how through storytelling and through love we survive adversity.

12 Replies to “Costume Designer Clint Ramos Turns Trash Into Treasure in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND”

  1. this is such a wonderful insight, i absolutely adore these costumes and was desperate to get a bit more background on the intent behind them. thank you so much for this video!

  2. These look like a Project Runway unconventional Materials challenge. But they are fabulous. I didn’t know the belt were stethoscopes until it was pointed out to me

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