First Look: See The Renderings for The Tempest’s Magical and Mystical Costumes

In these renderings from Costume Designer David Israel Reynoso, get a first look at the mystical and magical world of "The Tempest."

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David Israel Reynoso/Jim Cox
On the left, a rendering of Prospera's robe in The Old Globe's production of "The Tempest," designed by Costume Designer Ravid Israel Reynoso. On the right, a photo of Kate Burton as Prospera in "The Tempest," photo by Jim Cox.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
It is Costume Designer David Israel Reynoso’s first time working on “The Tempest,” a Shakespeare play follows Prospera, the Duchess of Milan, who lives in exile on a desert island after being thrown out of power by her wicked brother.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
When Reynoso first spoke with the Director, Joe Dowling, about the play, and saw the scenic design, what stuck out to him was how theatrical the production would be. “The world of the play embraces the theatre and the theatricality of doing this play,” Reynoso said in an interview with NBC7.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
His renderings, displayed in part in this gallery, are like a road map to the costumes he wanted to create. It’s like looking at a souvenir book, he said, and then realizing the destination is much more beautiful and elaborate in person.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
Reynoso’s renderings are more complex than just putting pen to paper and letting the imagination run wild. When he creates the renderings, he thinks about multiple factors that will go into the final product: How will someone move in this? What is it that they need to be able to do? How will the material hold up on stage? “There's all these elements that are all these nuts-and-bolts, very practical, that do influence the whizzing of the pencil line,” Reynoso said.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
So that means when Reynoso creates his renderings, he’s already thinking of ways they can be executed. When he goes to speak with the people who will be building the costumes, he already has a sense of how he wants the pieces to be created. “Not to say that there isn't room for surprise,” Reynoso added. “That's actually my favorite part, having a bit of curiosity, going, ‘Hmm, I wonder what happens if we try this.’”
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
Because the story involves a lot of magic, Reynoso said, he wanted to create costumes that brought incredible imagery. “It felt like we needed to be able to inject a level of surrealism to the landscape, that felt surreal in and of itself,” Reynoso said.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
Some of the costumes are more straight-laced and straight forward, Reynoso said, and some of the costumes are wild and imaginative. “It has a level of these two worlds colliding. A world that is very imaginative, magical, surreal, with a world that is very straight-laced and bound by the rule of authority,” Reynoso said.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
When Reynoso first began picking out fabrics for the costumes, and began talking to the people who would be creating every costume, he was surprised with the fabrics he picked out for the pieces. There were fabrics in the mix that he may never have picked for any other project. But: they felt right for this project. “I certainly confess that this is the most shimmery show I've ever done in my entire career,” Reynoso said with a chuckle.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
But with these unique fabrics and designs, Reynoso said, he’s acting as a three-dimensional illustrator. “The story is there,” Reynoso said. “My job is to enhance it, to tell the story in the best way possible, the most imaginative way I can, but never to get in the way of it.”
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
In The Old Globe’s production of “The Tempest,” the Court of Milan is a contemporary place. He wanted the costumes to reflect that; he wanted theatregoers to feel as if they could be the ones wearing these costumes. “There will be a quality in which you feel like you can recognize yourself in this,” Reynoso said.
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
Even so, some of the costumes will make theatregoers feel as if they have landed in a dream. “That there's an aspect to it that feel like you've been transported,” Reynoso said. “That you've arrived at this surreal landscape that's been wonderfully designed, but the inhabitants of this world are equally magical and that they're a bit unlike anything you've ever encountered.”
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
Still, Reynoso warned, audiences should not expect to see every single costume in this gallery on stage. Sometimes, renderings don’t translate to real life. It’s not a cut-and-dry process, Reynoso said. “There has to be room for us to see it on stage, for the performer to then feel like it's in support of what they're doing,” he explained. “It's quite likely that some of these things may shift and be adjusted.”
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
When it came to designing pieces of the magical hounds, Reynoso wanted to create something simultaneously surreal and terrifying. “I decided to put them in incredibly vibrant red, but then it ends up feeling almost like demons tormenting the inhabitants of the island,” Reynoso said. “You have the more angelic forces, if you will, and you have the slightly dark slightly more demonic forces at work.”
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
In The Old Globe’s production of the classic play, two roles have been reversed: Prospero has become Prospera (played by Kate Burton), and Gonzalos has become Gonzala (played by Lizan Mitchell).
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David Israel Reynoso/The Old Globe
When it came to designing costumes for Prospera, Reynoso thought about, in part, the type of magic she wielded: “there’s a quality that is benevolent and beneficial, and then there's an aspect to it that's rather dark.” Like light magic and dark magic, if you will. So when he thought about her outfits as she wielded light magic, he aimed to create an aura of incandescence. “They're going to be very, the fabrics we've chosen are highly reflective, and it'll be kind of like you're staring into a constellation. There's going to be a level of shimmer that feels really heightened on stage,” he said.
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David Israel Reynoso/Jim Cox
On the left, a rendering of Prospera's robe in The Old Globe's production of "The Tempest," designed by Costume Designer Ravid Israel Reynoso. On the right, the final product: a photo of Kate Burton as Prospera in "The Tempest," photo by Jim Cox. When audiences come see the show, Reynoso said, he hopes his costume create a new world for them to explore. "My hope is that it really does spark the imagination of the audience and that at the end of it, it just feels like an incredible dream you've woken up from," he said.
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