Passage Twenty-two (Pantomime)
Pantomimes like pageants, need to be very well planned, and it is essential that initial organization should begin many weeks in advance of the production date. Pantomimes are nearly always divided into separate scenes, very often taking place in different countries or even in different centuries. It is therefore necessary that there should be an overall unity of design culminating in the grand finale. This latter is really just an excuse for visual effects, and for once the performers become merely cloths hangers on which to put elaborate garments.
The scene should be discussed at some length with the producer so that the background, which is decided upon, does not present impossibilities for the provision of costumes within the budget or insuperable making problems for the wardrobe. Because of the large numbers of costumes needed full use must be made of the cheapest materials available, such as tarlatan (thin, stiff, open-weave muslin) nets and inexpensive cottons and taffetas. Very often it is possible to pick up goods that have been substantially reduced in price as cheap lines either in the big stores or on stalls in street markets.
Costumes for pantomimes need to be imaginative, gay and fairly bold in conception—this does not mean that they need to be garish. Usually in one scene there needs to be the flavor of what is newest at the moment in clothes. It is always a good idea to make use of a modern gimmick and to point it in some way if this can be conveniently fitted into the scheme. The audience comes to pantomime to have the eye feasted as much as for any other purpose, thus making a great chance for the designer to excel. Because of the very varied audience to be catered for there must be costumes to please patrons of all ages and delight the eyes of toddlers, teenagers, parents and grandparents.
Usually there is the chance for some country scene involving merry-making peasants in ginghams, stripes of chintzes. There may be a military or naval routine or some number emphasizing precision and calling for trim slick costumes. There is certain to be a ballet which is to look fairy-like or romantic and pretty and which may well need either classical or romantic tutus. The finale, which must be the most spectacular of all, is often set in a ballroom or palace where all the characters come together to make their final bows; and it is for this scene that the glitter of sequins and jewels, the sparkle of tinsel, the gold and silver materials and the waving plumes should be saved.
It may be helpful to examine the different characters and the various scenes in which they are likely to appear. They remain much the same in all pantomimes; the flavor varying according to the setting—so that a s\dash of the Orient, or the particular feeling of a historical epoch is added to the standard costume.
1. Which word can best describe the final scene in pantomime?
[A]. Spectacular. [B]. Beautiful. [C]. Romantic. [D]. Sparkling.
2. What is the best title for this passage?
[A]. How to Gain Success of a Pantomime.
[B]. The Most Important Factors in a Pantomime.
[C]. Pantomime needs to have a very-well.
[D]. How to Make Preparation for a Pantomime.
3. What does paragraph two imply?
[A]. It implies actor and actress outnumber costume.
[B]. It implies costume costs too much.
[C]. It implies the funds available is on meager side.
[D]. It implies a good plan is necessary for a pantomime.
4. The success of a pantomime lie in
[A]. well-planned preparation. [B]. excellent actors.
[C]. brilliant costume. [D]. harmony.
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