Susanna Pretzer, Dramaturg: What is the most exciting part of designing costumes for The Little Mermaid?
Pei Lee: To take a well-known story and its characters and make them your own (while still honoring the iconic looks that most audience will come to expect).
What are the biggest challenges in costuming The Little Mermaid? How are you approaching them?
The biggest challenge was figuring out how to create the look for the mermaids- the illusion of having no legs but tails. The key was to capture the essence of the mermaid. Because our production embraces the theatricality of storytelling—with the use of puppets and other techniques, it seems more apt to convey the spirit of the character rather than its authenticity.
How do the designs for this show compare to your previous work?
This show has a broad color spectrum. I favor designs with a tighter palette but, with the The Little Mermaid, I have to force myself to widen the scope as one tends to forget how vibrant and colorful Mother Nature is.
What inspirations or previous experiences helped you come up with and execute these designs?
To always find the whimsy and humor in all things as well as being addicted to The Blue Planet have allowed me to create costumes for these non-human characters that will hopefully encapsulate their personalities succinctly.