Designing Hair and Makeup for the Cross-Dressing Men of 'Casa Valentina'

Monday, March 17, 2014

As if designing hair and makeup for a Broadway production weren't challenging enough, what if the script called for the actors to do that hair and makeup live on stage every night? 

And what if those actors were men who've never wielded so much as a mascara wand  now expected to put on the full feminine face of the cross-dressers they play?

Hair, wig and makeup designer Jason Hayes gives us an inside look at how the gents will make themselves into ladies during "Casa Valentina," the first new play from Harvey Fierstein in nearly 30 years. Fierstein recently sat down in The Greene Space with WQXR's Elliott Forrest to give audiences a sneak peek at the production. Set in 1962 in the Catskill Mountains and based on actual events, the play centers on a group of heterosexual men who gather in an inconspicuous bungalow colony to discreetly and safely dress and act as women.

"This isn't 'Kinky Boots' or 'La Cage.' It's a whole other spectrum of female impersonation," says Hayes. "That's the thing about 'Casa' — it's got something to say and I think 2014 is the year to say it."

Get an inside look at the hair and makeup design below:
Photos used from "Casa Susanna" edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope. Published by PowerHouse Books.

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