TWU costume designer wins Jessie

Little did she know that her teenage hobby would lead to a career in costume design and land her a Jessie Richardson award for her contributions to Vancouver theatre.

This summer, Bach, a Costume Designer at both Trinity Western University and Pacific Theatre, received two Jessie nominations for Costume Design. On June 19 she was awarded Outstanding Costume Design for her work on the Farndale Christmas Carol for Pacific Theatre.

“I was surprised that I was nominated at all, let alone twice,” she says. “You do this kind of work because you love it, not because you expect to be nominated—but it's really nice to have your work recognized by others in the professional theatre community.”

The scope of Bach's work makes the twin nominations even more impressive. One nomination was for Shadowlands, an intimate tale of faith and doubt set in mid-century Oxford for which Bach pored over biographies and historical photographs for inspiration. The other was for The Farndale Christmas Carol, an upbeat comedy with over 30 eccentric costumes that, according to Bach, “are a strange mix of Charles Dickens and ridiculous gag theatre.”

“I think ultimately costume design matters to the actor,” says Bach. “Sometimes actors get pegged for being picky about the way things fit—but it's on their body. If an actor can't move in a costume, it's going to show. It's a bit of a balancing act to accommodate where they're going with their character and where I'm going with the design.”

Bach's award was one of Pacific Theatre's four Jessie's, more than any other company. Bob Frazer was named best supporting actor for his performance in Prodigal Son, Kyle Rideout's snagged best supporting-actor in The Farndale Christmas Carol and Shawn Macdonald's script for Prodigal Son was considered this year's best new play. As Vancouver's third-longest running professional theatre company, Pacific Theatre garnered 20 Jessie nominations for their 2005-2006 season.

One key to Pacific Theatre's success is their strong relationship with Trinity Western University's theatre department. The partnership gives TWU students internship opportunities and has led to co-productions such as Remnants, a play by Jason Sherman which will run at Pacific Theatre next spring.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,300 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 14 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum