Northeastern University Teaching Professor Frances Nelson McSherry has designed the costumes for the New England premiere of the musical, The Snow Queen, which is enjoying rave reviews at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown through December 20, 2015. The production is a new pop-rock music version of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy tale. The Snow Queen originated at San Jose Repertory Theatre and then moved to The New York Musical Theatre Festival where it received the Best Overall Design Award for 2014. A review by The New York Times called it “a fairy tale that rocks… all of Frances Nelson McSherry’s costumes could have come from beautiful Grimm’s-era illustrations.” WBUR reported, “As costumed by Frances Nelson McSherry with equal nods toward fairy tale and steampunk, many of these characters look fantastical.” The Boston Globe gushed about the designs, calling them “captivating, sometimes hypnotic, and inventive.”
McSherry enlisted the help of Farah Griffin, AMD’16 to be the Hair and Makeup Designer for this steampunk-inspired production. Griffin skillfully created elaborate multicolored wigs and intricate makeup effects to accentuate the bold looks of the characters. For a chilly, other worldly effect, Griffin incorporated shades of light and dark blue hair into the white wig of the Snow Queen (played by Boston favorite Aimee Doherty) and reinforced those tones in the makeup design with dramatic blue shadows contrasting against a frosty white highlight.
McSherry said “I have been redesigning and perfecting the costume design for this musical with each new version that I’ve done. It is exciting to have this opportunity because new works are continually changing as the script is rewritten, new songs are added, and new collaborators join the process.”