Laree Ashley Lentz, Storyteller

Laree Ashley Lentz

LAREE ASHLEY LENTZ, MFA Costume Design 2012, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Costume Designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream/仲夏夜之梦

Last May I embarked on an international journey that opened my eyes to a new culture when, along with a few designers and UMD theatre faculty, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Beijing.

…I learned the importance of expression and the simplicity of line.

We were there to discuss the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and we also had the chance to visit several shows. We attended a Peking Opera performance; a performance of The Monkey King at a tea house; and an event with small-act shows reminiscent of American-style vaudeville.

From these performances I learned the importance of expression and the simplicity of line. While the costumes were rich in color and adornment, they also maintained the essence of simple lines in silhouette and the designers used bold gestures in makeup to create a powerful sense of expression.

I was also moved by simply walking the streets of Beijing.

We came across several children dressed in everyday clothing who had playful fairy wings on their backs. Some carried wands; others had beautiful little masks on. These children helped inspire my vision of the fairies in our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream — the idea of a magical world and the playful innocence of a child.