PWTF Spotlight Series: Meet LeVonne Lindsay
Welcome to our Philadelphia Women’s Theater Festival Spotlight, where we profile the great people involved in this year’s festival. From the founders to the playwrights and directors, we are going to discover all of the moving parts to this amazing festival that is all about giving opportunities for women in theatre.
Meet LeVonne Lindsay: LeVonne is the costumer designer for the new PWTF musical, Hear Me War.
How did you first get involved in the Philadelphia theatre community?
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs of Abington, PA and went to undergrad at what is now Philadelphia University and majored in Fashion Design. Over the summer after my freshman year, I got involved with a community theater in Bucks County. That experience got me hooked into the theater community. After graduation, I worked five years as a design room assistant for a major bridal manufacturer, but theater kept calling my name. Eventually, I quit that job, got my first professional position in a costume shop as a First Hand at the Walnut Street Theater. After that, I never looked back.
When did you first know you wanted to become a costume designer?
After working a couple of seasons at the Walnut, I realized I still wanted to design clothes more than a I wanted to make them, so I enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park to get my MFA in costume design.
What do you love most about Philadelphia theatre?
I like that Philadelphia has enough theaters to offer a wide variety of genres and styles, but it was small enough for me to gain access to the theater community fairly easily within my first couple of years after being away from the city for over a decade.
What was it like designing the costumes for Hear Me War?
As of today, I’m still in the process of designing. With this show, it was important to me to get the actors’ input in creating their costumes. I asked each of them to send me photos of someone they thought of as a hero or personal icon whose representation they would look to as a reflection of their character in this play.
What has been the most rewarding and the most challenging aspect of this process?
It’s most rewarding to work with a group of diverse, creative and talented women, and doing my part to help amplify their voices. The most challenging aspect of this process is often the same among many theaters: creating the best product possible with limited time and resources.
Which female costume designers inspire you / do you look up to the most?
Colleen Atwood is an absolute genius. I saw some of her designs for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on display at Macy’s last year. Her interpretations of past and present, combined fantasy is just remarkable. I’m also a big fan of Ruth Carter and the sneak peek photos of her costumes for Black Panther already look Oscar worthy. Oddly enough, I don’t follow costume designers for theater that closely. Most of my inspiration comes from outside the theater world.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s festival?
This is my first time attending or working with the festival, so I’m looking forward to it all!