BWW Blog: James Beaman of Cape Playhouse's 1776 - Clothes Make the Man!

June 30
7:46 AM 2014
BWW Blog: James Beaman of Cape Playhouse's 1776 - Clothes Make the Man!

One of the reasons I became enamored of acting as a child was the opportunity to put on period costumes and to imagine I was going back in time. It's one of the giddy pleasures of being an actor-dress up! And there are few periods that are quite as distinctive and fun as the 18th century. In this week's vlog post, I have my first fitting for my John Adams costume with designer Gail Baldoni.

I have been familiar with Gail's design work for some time, and she has a wonderful eye for detail and a really creative and effective sense for color. My Adams costume is a heavy, structured suit of deep forest green with a beautiful waistcoat in deep plum with silver buttons. Underneath I have one of those voluminous white romantic shirts with a ruffled neckpiece. And despite what you see in the vlog, I will have stockings and buckled shoes, never fear!

I am grateful to Gail for understanding what I feel about Adams-he came from a solid, simple New England farm family; he was the first to attend college and to go into law. His duty to appear respectable and upright as a member of the Continental Congress would have dictated a certain dignity in his appearance, but I think he would have eschewed frills and flashy clothes. I find what Gail has created really in line with the man I want to embody-simple, plain spoken, with a sense of self but an abhorrence of falseness and overt vanity.

Of course, trying on one's costume makes the whole adventure of playing a role just that more real! I am more excited with each day and each piece of the puzzle of 1776 coming together.

Catch up on all the posts of the vlog by viewing my playlist on YouTube:

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