Subseries - Dalhousie Theatre : Shakespeare's Women

Costume design for woman in blue dress with mask Costume design for Isabella, Viola, Rosalind Costume design for Nerissa, Helena, Queen Costume design for Katherine, Hermione, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth Costume design for lady at ball, Duchess of York Costume design for female narrator, Cleopatra Costume design for Cordelia, Portia, Queen Elizabeth Costume design for woman at costume ball Costume design for woman at costume ball Costume design for woman at costume ball Costume design for woman at costume ball Costume design for Gertrude, Helena, Queen Margaret Costume design for lady at ball, Maria Costume design for lady at ball, Lady Richard II Costume design for Kent, Malvolio Costume design for lady at ball, Charmion Costume design for party guest, Ophelia, Juliet Costume design for Benedick, Hamlet, Romeo, Orsino Costume design for Desdemona Costume design for three witches Costume design for Audrey Costume design for Galpurnia Costume design for Lady Macbeth Costume design for Bianca Costume design for Lady Macbeth in nightdress Costume design for Beatrice

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Dalhousie Theatre : Shakespeare's Women

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  • 1990 (Creation)
    Doyle, Robert

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Physical description

6 watercolours : 35.5 x 43 cm - 20 drawings : 35.5 x 43 cm - 2 photocopies : b&w ; 28 x 43.5 cm - 3 p. of textual records : fabric swatches attached ; 21.5 x 27.5 cm

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Biographical history

Robert Doyle is a leading figure in set and costume design in Canada, whose work has been showcased in more than 500 theatre productions. He began his professional career as a dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. After undergoing knee surgery he transitioned into theatrical design, working at regional theatres such as Manitoba Theatre Centre and Halifax's Neptune Theatre, where he was the founding costume designer. He pursued his studies at Wimbledon School of Fine Art's Theatre Division. While in England he researched 18th-century civilian and military clothes, and later trained a staff to invent accurate copies for the character animation planned for the restoration of Fortress Louisburg in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

This ambitious project sparked Doyle's awareness of the need for costume design training in Canada, and he subsequently taught at Regina University and at Dalhousie University, where he founded the Costumes Studies Program. In 1999 he was appointed Art Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Pan American Games in Winnipeg. He has also designed costumes and sets for The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and Ballet J├Ârgen, and conducted costume workshops throughout North America. In 2006 Doyle taught the final year at Red Deer College's Costume Program. He subsequently wrote a series of books on costume-making, including Waisted Efforts: An Illustrated Guide to Corset Making, Laundry: The Whys and Hows of Cleaning Clothes, Art of the Tailor, and Costuming the Dance.

In 2007 Robert Doyle received the Order of Canada for his life's work and mentoring of members of the Canadian theatre community.

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Scope and content

File contains 26 costume designs from Dalhousie Theatre's 1990 production of Shakespeare's Women. Six of them are watercolour sketches and the rest are pencil sketches. The file also contains two photocopies of one of the sketches and three pages of notes about the sketches. The first 18 sketches were drawn on the same pad of paper and are stored between the covers of that pad of paper. There are some drawings on the cover of the pad of paper. Some of the sketches have fabric swatches attached.

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