Amanda Roberge is a New York based costume designer. Originally from North Carolina, she spent much of her younger years exploring barefoot in the woods. Therefore, Amanda finds great joy in infusing her work with inspiration from nature and delights in sharing her secondarily passion for gardening with anyone who will talk with her about plants. Amanda originally came to theater by way of performance and draws from her on-stage background to highlight and transform the human body. She loves working with actors to create characters and is most energized when she is collaborating with fellow artists in pursuit of telling the story.
Monteverdi’s 1607 opera follows the ancient story of Orpheus and Eurydice on their mythical journey from heaven to earth, to the underworld, and then (separately) back to earth and heaven. For me, the story is very simple, and it makes the rules of human mortality very clear: “When you’re gone, you’re gone.” But despite the finality of its message, my imagination is still caught and held by this tale of young love, desperate grief, audacity, human will, suspense, and cosmic pity. I love knowing that for centuries the human imagination has demanded a story in which True Love might actually triumph over Death. In a way, we know that it happens all the time: we don’t ever forget our loved ones, our partners, our soulmates . . . no matter what side of the veil they’re on.
Pipeline tells the story of a mother and son and their struggle to understand each other in the face of an education system rigged against him. When Nya’s only son Omari is involved in a fight at his upstate prep school, Nya must confront her choices as a parent and find a way to understand her son before he is out of her reach. In my design, finding moments of humanity that can be expressed in the clothing is most important. While markers of institutional oppression are present in the strict dress codes, characters push back against conformity with their own personal touches to wardrobe. As characters reveal themselves the heart of this play is revealed, that it’s not only about education, but also community, friendship, family and love.
Into the Woods is a story about the painful process of growing up through many ages. In the beginning, the characters journey into the woods, where vision is obscured, to face the unknown, reverse curses and fulfill their wishes. They cross paths and sometimes cross each other in pursuit of their desires. In the end they all get their wishes, but it’s not really the end and their wishes fall short. Consequences, disillusionment and disappointment follow. Families fall apart and they all go into the woods again. It is not until they begin to confront the curses of their mothers and fathers and face the enormous power of parenthood that a new family can emerge. Growing up at every age is terrifying, dangerous and inevitable.
Queens tells the stories of two generations of immigrant women living in a basement apartment in Queens, and looks at the choices they’ve made regarding their security, pride, and desires. In the design, it was important to me to find moments of dignity, joy, personality, humor and vulnerability as they make their way through the confines of the cramped, makeshift basement.
Coraline is the story of a girl who just wants to plant a garden with her parents. When her parents can’t give her the attention she needs, she turns to dream and discovers the Other World that is just like hers but perfect. My Coraline hinges on that tumulus moment in childhood where you realize that your parents aren’t perfect. I took inspiration from one of the places I loved to retreat as a child, the world of bugs!