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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Clothes for the Stage


By Hana Frenette

Glenn Breed is a man who knows the importance of the right outfit. In real life, one might wear something in an attempt to better convey themselves to the outside world, but on a stage, the clothing sometimes says more about the character than they say themselves. It can be used to set the time period, the stature of the character’s class, and occasionally, a person’s sense of humor. Breed has been designing costumes for years and has currently been heavily involved with revamping the UWF Theater. He’s constructed costumes for one of Steve Martin’s plays; he’s created a state of the art costume design program for UWF students and has been able to construct costumes for characters all over the country. On Thursday, Breed will lecture on how clothes really do make the man, at least in his case.

IN: How long have you been designing costumes?
BREED: I have been a costume designer for roughly 14 Years. I started right out of high school working with a costume rental company.

IN: Did you attend school or have you had extensive training for honing this talent?

BREED: I have a B.A. in Theatrical Design from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and a M.F.A in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

IN: Do you remember what the first costume you designed was or what work it was for?
BREED: Early on in my career I had the honor of designing the costumes for Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and the show is a very funny comedy. I costumed the character of Pablo Picasso in all shades of blue as Picasso was in the middle of his blue period when the show took place. This sort of costume joke and hint was not just my secret but referenced in the reviews as a “comic wink” from the designer.

IN: How long have you been with UWF and how has your time there been?
BREED: This is my seventh year at UWF. I am a Tenured Associate Professor of Theatre Design and Technology. I founded the costume program at UWF, prior to my arrival most costumes at UWF were rented or pulled. I have built a state of the art costume program that students from all over the state come to attend.

IN: Your lecture is coming up Thursday—will you also be displaying some of your favorite work?

BREED: The lecture is an hour and at the end of it, I will have students wearing many of my creations from the last seven years of work.

IN: What will your lecture focus on?
BREED: My lecture is titled ” How Clothes Made the Man” and shows the journey of what it is that I really do, as a costume designer and my background of how I have gotten to where I am. The piece focuses on why the liberal arts are so important to the community we live in.

IN: What are the most exciting or enjoyable pieces for you to create?
BREED: I enjoy all the work that I create. I feel that getting to express myself through the costumes that characters wear is the most rewarding thing I do. I can help to create not only the world of the play but tell stories that have been told and will be told for years to come.

IN: Do you currently design pieces for local clientele as well as regional?
BREED: I design all over the United States, but my main clients are Pensacola Opera, the Janiec Opera Company and Fiesta of Five Flags of Pensacola, as well as UWF.

IN: What are some of the things you have been proudest to work on?
BREED: Teaching is actually the thing I am proudest of; I feel that giving what I have learned to my students in the form of continuing education is the proudest moment. I love to watch a student understand what I mean or see something of my work and watch how they process it and understand why design and construction are important life skills.

IN: Is there a certain time period, style, or movement that you find yourself really drawn to?
BREED: I am drawn to anything with trim! I love the details, from buttons to edges to piping to anything that finishes a costume. But I also have come to appreciate the fine fabrics that require no adornment as well.

IN: What’s next for you?
BREED: Well to continue to educate and grow my own career and take the UWF Theatre to the next level in becoming a leading training program in the state of Florida and in the U.S.

‘HOW CLOTHES MADE THE MAN’ BY GLENN BREED
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. refreshments, 6 p.m. lecture and costume display, Thursday, Feb. 7
WHERE: Pensacola Little Theatre, 400 S. Jefferson St.
DETAILS: uwf.edu/cas/downtownseries/