The Costumes of Social Creatures


Brenda Scott Wlazlo, the Costume Designer for Tympanic's upcoming suspense thriller, Social Creatures, sat down and answered a few questions about her process and gave her take on what to anticipate about the show. Tympanic: How long have you been interested in Costume Design?

Brenda: I'm a very visual learner and I think I have always tried to glean a lot of information about a situation and/or a person by using my visual context clues. When I started acting in shows, a lot of the time the budget or the production was small enough that they gave the actor some creative input on their characters and I started to design things for myself and my cast mates in High School, my mom and I would both take on costumes for the local community theater and high school shows I was in and that turned into taking my technical college credit in the costume shop for my theater degree. This is the third Show I have had a hand in designing for Tympanic. The first being House of Weird Death, and most recently, Sandalwood.

Tympanic: What drew you to design Social Creatures?

Brenda: Upon my initial reading of the script- my thought was, this shouldn't be too involved. It's a contemporary piece, there are distinct characters and it takes place in one space. THIS IS EASY! I thought I had it all figured out. Then my mind started delving into each character, thinking about what brought them to this moment and I re read the script a few more times. Then I thought- this is going to be INCREDIBLY involved. They have several factors playing into how they behave and dress, this is a different contemporary moment then the current one society has now, and the characters are hiding from each other- THIS IS INSANE and I have absolutely nothing figured out. I then emailed Dan and said I would totally do the show.

Tympanic: What was one of your biggest challenges with this design?

Brenda: Without giving too much away, my approach was to look at a group of people who are put in an extreme circumstance. They are in a period of adjustment and are torn between trying to mentally distances themselves and hide from their current situation while still maintaining who they were before. As a designer- I had to first look at their lives before the start of the play and figure out that person's visual identity, and then transfer that into who they are currently. I felt like their clothing needed to be salvaged windows into their past that helps to give context clues to who they are now.

Tympanic: Are you a horror fan? Have any favorites?

Brenda: Going back to the very visual part, I CANNOT watch horror movies. I'm terrible. The darkest images end up staying with me for weeks and I can't get them out of my head. That being said, the production aspect of live action, like a haunted house or a play, is incredibly interesting to me. I go to them and I'm the complete opposite- I'm never scared. I always want to ask the Freddy look alike popping out in front of me how he does his make up or where he got his glove.

Tympanic: Why should people see Social Creatures?

Brenda: This is the type of show you will not only watch, you will feel. It surrounds you and makes you think of how you would react if it were you in the characters place. It's tough thought provoking and, I think, an eerily accurate interpretation of humanity facing it's worst fears. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it's impeccably cast and Nathan's direction gives me goose bumps. I guarantee this show will stick with you long after the curtain.



Social Creatures by Jackie Sibblies Drury

Directed by Nathan Robbel

Oct 31 – Nov 16 @ the Den Fri – Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 3pm

Get tickets HERE!