Meet Grier Coleman, Auburn University's Costume Designer for The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Meet Grier Coleman, Auburn University’s Costume Designer for The Last Night of Ballyhoo
Grier Coleman of New York City, New York, visited Auburn, Alabama, to help recreate the Southern glamour and style of the 1930s for Auburn University Theatre’s production of The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
Originally from Charlotte, Grier went to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she started out studying Anthropology. During her junior year, she switched to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Studio Art program with a minor in Costume Design and Production. Upon graduating from UNC, she interned at The Juilliard School for Costume Design, which immediately drew her to the city. She lived and worked in NYC for seven years before deciding to pursue an MFA in Design at The Yale School of Drama; you can see her work featured at Yale and other prestigious repertory theatres and playhouses across the country. She is now working on her eleventh season with Juilliard.
In between fittings, we were able to catch up with Grier and ask her about her creative process for designing the costumes for The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Her process began with reading the script a few times through, then spending time thinking about the year the play takes place as well the type of person each character is. Grier explained this was followed by “specific period research for characters. Lala is more eccentric, so the research for her was tacky and fun.” It was also notable that this play takes place during the winter, so the colors were muted rather than bright and flashy.
We also asked Grier, a working and accomplished citizen of theatre, what advice she would have for current students. “Internships,” Grier pointed out, “they’re going to help you get your foot in the door.” She continues to talk about the importance of trying things that you might not want to do: “make cold calls, go into places and show your face, you never know what it could lead to.” Lastly, Grier touched on how important it is to give yourself separation between work and personal time. “You have to take care of yourself,” Grier admitted. During graduate school, Grier disclosed that she got a dog who taught her to embrace and enjoy that time off; she couldn’t work all the time when she was responsible for someone else.
Make sure to check out more guest artist work in “Detroit.” We proudly welcome several guest artists throughout the year that enrich the theatrical experiences of both the students and faculty.
Last Updated: October 08, 2018