The Many Faces of Elfland

When The King of Elfland’s Daughter takes the stage next week, parents may have a hard time picking out their sons and daughters from the huge cast, thanks to our many student make-up artists. Working with their Exploratory teacher Ms. Smith and SMUS parent Mrs. Pattmore, who used to own a stage make-up company in England, Middle School students have been learning a few tricks of the theatrical trade.

“We want the kids to be involved,” says Ms. Smith. “Our students will handle the majority of the make-up.”

With some of the student actors playing multiple characters and with many different species of magical creatures, doing stage make-up for the over 100 cast members will be a challenging task. Some of the students began their exploratory time creating lions and monkeys, but now all are able to expertly apply basic stage make-up as well as the elaborate cosmetic designs for some of Elfland’s most complex creatures. As much art as the work requires, the make-up understudies in Grades 6-8 also have to be organized, remembering which actors they are in charge of and acting as a team.

“They meet kids from different grades,” says Ms. Smith. “It’s really nice how they’ve been working together.”

For her part, Ms. Smith mostly organizes supplies for her students and will be on hand during the musical production to do a few quick changes and touch ups. Her students will be the ones crafting the enchanting faces. From the villagers, who just require basic stage make-up such as eyeliner and lipstick, to the faeries, who require a rainbow of colour and glitter, each new make-up artist will have plenty to do.

“By the end, they’re creating incredible faces,” says Ms. Smith. “They learn so much in such a short time.”

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