Make It Work: Chicago Aida Producers Create Design Competition

News   Make It Work: Chicago Aida Producers Create Design Competition
Bailiwick Chicago is taking a cue from TV's "Project Runway," the fashion-design competition program, to create four "looks" for a new production of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical, Aida.

Bailiwick's executive director Kevin Mayes announced a call for fashion designer submissions for the July production of the ancient Egypt-set musical that features a fashion show sequence called "My Strongest Suit," sung by Amneris. Previews begin July 1 at American Theatre Company.

Bailiwick Chicago is seeking four designers to create four Egyptian-inspired gowns for the sequence.

"This is a unique opportunity for local designers to display their talents to a new audience every night," Mayes said. "The selected designers will be responsible for only one dress each, to be worn by an actress down the set's 'runway.' These four designs should not only be Egyptian-inspired, but should be fun and outrageous. We're looking for real 'knock-out' designs to bring this fashion-show-within-a-show to life."

The chosen designers will collaborate with the production's design team to craft a gown, using their own materials. In return, the designer will be featured in press publications and the show program. The dresses will be used for the entire run of the production and will be returned to each designer once show has closed. Designers will be expected to provide completed garments by June 23.

Interested applicants may submit their proposals by email to Proposals should include a cover letter, resume or bio, and samples of previous work (website links are strongly suggested).

The deadline for submitting proposals is May 17.

In the first Chicago production since its national tour, Aida will be directed by Bailiwick Chicago Collective member Scott Ferguson, with co-musical direction by Jimmy Morehead and Collective member Robert Ollis, and original choreography by Iega Jeff (artistic director of the Chicago dance company Deeply Rooted Productions) and Gary Abbott (associate artistic director, Deeply Rooted Productions).

Featuring a large, multiracial cast, Aida will begin previews on July 1 at American Theatre Company, 1707 W. Byron. Opening night is July 9.

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Bailiwick Chicago was formed by a group of dedicated actors, directors, and production professionals when Bailiwick Repertory Theater closed its doors in September 2009. This group, called the "Collective," is responsible for "developing, implementing and upholding the artistic mission and vision of the company."

Bailiwick Chicago's mission is "to tell stories that stimulate our audience and celebrate our diverse community, enhancing our understanding of ourselves and others."

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