Old Globe’s ‘Tempest’ costumes meld magic with the modern


When the costume designer David Israel Reynoso talks of blending “the familiar with the fantastical” in his work for the just-opened Old Globe staging of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” he offers up a verbal image as vivid as his artist’s renderings.

“I imagined it would be somewhat like placing the Royal Family at the epicenter of the Burning Man Festival,” Reynoso says of introducing the play’s aristocrats (whose world has a modern look in director Joe Dowling’s production) to the surreal feel of the mysterious island where a deposed duke turned sorcerer holds sway.

Reynoso is the San Diego-based designer whose own magic (with both costumes and sets) has been seen in numerous previous productions at the Globe, La Jolla Playhouse and elsewhere around the country and world.

In 2011, he shared an Obie Award for his contributions to the pioneering off-Broadway show “Sleep No More” — an immersive riff on another Shakespeare play, “Macbeth.”

Reynoso says “The Tempest” — whose gender-switched Globe staging puts the Broadway and screen veteran Kate Burton at center as the sorcerer Prospera — is a play that “invites the imagination to run wild! And mine certainly did.”

As with other Bard works, “the words are so rich that they inspire examination through many lenses, time period being one of them.

“It’s a bit like looking through a prism and seeing something new each time.”


See the full U-T preview of the Old Globe’s “The Tempest.”

Twitter: @jimhebert