We interview Gwyneth Price Panos, Hair & Makeup Designer for South Bay Musical Theatre’s upcoming production of She Loves Me. What hairstyles are apropos for a show set in the 1930s? Do cast members like wearing wigs or prefer styling their own hair? How do you determine what color hair should be matched with each character? Learn all this and more in this 2-minute video. Credit: David Simon, MidPen Media Center.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.
GWYNETH PRICE PANOS: “Modern day audiences do have a certain expectation when watching period shows. You want to have that romantic vision that you have of that time period. This show is the 1930s, and so the biggest thing that stands out in my mind about the thirties is the hair styles: short haircuts, finger waves, curl, a lot of movement. Men generally had some product in their hair. They always looked put together – I mean, at least in the movies. We have a character who is just your girl next door. A romantic who hasn’t found a date yet, so you don’t want her to necessarily look too ‘zhuzhy.’
“I didn’t want her too dark. I brought a few different shades of brown today to see which one complimented her skin tone the best, and we chose sort of a cinnamonny.
“Ilona is the character that is your stereotypical “pretty girl” who gets a lot of dates. And so, it may be offensive to some people, but that tends to be a blonde.
“The question is, “Do I ever get pushback on wearing wigs?” The answer is, I actually more often than not, get pushback from actors about not wearing wigs. Your show starts at seven. You rush there in traffic. You’re stressed out. You still have to put all your makeup on. The last thing you want to do is to start curling and styling your hair. You just don’t have time. A lot of people also find that a wig can help them define their character. But the moment you put your costume and your wig on, and they see this alter ego, and it helps them to sort of figure out their character.
“It’s just a really cute story, and we have an amazing cast.”