Q&A with Costume Designer Connie Furr
As we voyage into rehearsals for the next show in our 54th season, we are delighted to feature another Arizona artist, Arizona State University professor (and award-winning design extraordinaire) Connie Furr. We are ecstatic to take this moment to feature the local design staple as our costume designer for Women in Jeopardy!.
Connie’s iconic designs have been featured in over 300 productions and can be appreciated both domestically and internationally. Her ability to make decadent costumes come to life is a rare specialty which landed her authorized rights from the Liberace Foundation to write the book titled, “Liberace Extravaganza!”. I know firsthand how beautiful, detailed, and meticulous her designs are. (I was lucky enough to adorn her fabulous creations in Childsplay’s production of Good Night Moon).
Last spring, our artistic team had an opportunity to interview the designer about her work. Here’s what she shared.
Q: Why have you chosen to live and work in Arizona for the past 20 years?
A: It’s a rich community of artists and institutions. I’ve had the good fortune of working with Childsplay, Phoenix Theatre, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, when it was here, and now ATC. I’m thrilled to be part of it. It is a large community of intensely creative people and there is a pride here. At ASU, for example, we try to focus on local stories and politically inspired productions to forward the mission of making art more accessible to all.
President Crow at ASU’s New American University talks about the success of an institution being not in who you exclude but who you include. I think the arts and institutions in Arizona are passionate about that.
Q: How do you approach your work?
A: I tend to do a lot of premieres and I think that is indicative of my character. I’m easy-going and flexible, which is important because the scripts for new works change rapidly. I also love theatricality and the use of imagination. A great example of that was my work in Childsplay’s The Sun Serpent directed by Rachel Bowditch. With the use of masks, actors transformed themselves into many different characters in a really exciting way.
Q: What do you see as the future of Arizona theatre and art?
A: I think the path we are on is exciting. The way artistic directors and directors of institutions are reacting to what is happening in the world is amazing, and I look forward to seeing and being part of that. I’ve been in this industry for 40 years. The companies in town are all in the trenches together producing art. When it all comes together in a beautifully cohesive production, it is immensely fulfilling. I feel very fortunate to be here.
Likewise, ATC is fortunate to have Connie and we are excited to share her designs in our production of Women In Jeopardy!.