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Elizabethan on crack - the dazzling costuming vision of our Linda Burtt

Linda Burtt gets excited as she heads into the dressing room at the theater, and starts pulling out the costumes that she’s building for the upcoming production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”—hats, doublets, shirts with enormously puffy sleeves, balloon pants. The items are outlandish, colorful, and inspired.

“Since it’s Stoppard, you can have a lot of fun, and take all sorts of liberties. If it were straight Elizabethan, I could pull it from here or from Salem State (where she works as the costume shop manager) -- but it’s much more challenging, and fun, than that.”

The director, Ingrid Oslund, says the vision is “post apocalyptic Alexander McQueen in the Elizabethan Court”; Burtt calls it “Elizabethan on crack.” She says the “vision is Elizabethan on top, and modern underneath. We’re aiming for the ‘Uncanny Valley’ –the space between reality and not reality.”

The costumes are designed to express character, as well as mood, location, situation. Each setting, and character, is working in a different plane.

“The concept is so complete, so challenging, I wanted complete control of the total look, so I’m doing hair and make up too. All the elements work together.”

Linda is our own award-winning costume designer, as well as the prodigiously talented actor who lit up the stage last season as Martha Gilette in "The Game's Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays."

Check back here for more, and check out our wonderful production soon!

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