Meet the Woman Who Brings Characters to Life at The Old Globe
As the designer in residence, Charlotte Devaux touches every costume for every show at least once
Photo by Flavio Scorsato
Charlotte DevauxCompany: The Old Globe
Job: Resident Associate Costume Designer
Ever since she was a child, Charlotte Devaux loved working with fabric scraps and buttons. She learned to sew on her grandmother’s treadle machine, and has been stitching ever since. During her 19-year tenure at the Globe, she’s designed the costumes for 26 productions and collaborated on dozens more, from period pieces to Shakespeare to Broadway-bound musicals.
Devaux is a master researcher and was awarded a prestigious Theatre Communications Group grant to study costume research in London and Bath. “The job of costume design is richly entwined with history,” she says. “It’s the silhouettes that really tell the story of what period you’re in.” (Read: Corsets!)
At the start of any show, she meets with the production team to discuss and develop an overall concept. She spends days sifting through the Globe’s three-story costume warehouse and LA’s vintage markets and fabric shops. “We search so far and wide for anything and everything to get it right.”
As the designer in residence, every costume for every show comes through her hands at some point—no small feat given that the recent production October Sky, for example, had about 180 costumes. Eventually, with a crew of expert cutters, dyers, and other artisans, she begins the process of creating finished costumes for opening night. She says, “It is very rewarding to be a part of the magic.”
Devaux is currently working on Picasso at the Lapin Agile, written by Steve Martin and set in 1904. See it February 4–March 12 at The Old Globe.