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The Corset as Art: Past and Present

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Tying in closely with the Festival’s production of Intimate Apparel, the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) is featuring the exhibition The Corset as Art: Past and Present.

The show, which is generously sponsored by Shelley Berkley and Dr. Larry Lehrner, includes numerous corsets from various eras and styles, from utilitarian to beautiful to flamboyant.

“Some of these objects display extraordinary sewing craftsmanship, but many are three-dimensional objects created from artistic minds using different methodologies to make three-dimensional art,” said guest curator Laura Crow. “One of the works is, in fact, a costume created for actress Scarlett Johansson’s appearance on Saturday Night Live and made entirely of plastic mylar.”

The Festival production of Intimate Apparel is the heart-rending yet hopeful story of Esther, an African American woman in the early 1900s that creates intricate pieces of lingerie for a wealthy clientele while also searching for love and acceptance. Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and directed by actor, theatre educator, and director Tasia A. Jones, Intimate Apparel explores social divisions of race, religion, equality, class, and sexism.

“I was thrilled when Frank Mack, executive producer of the Festival, approached me about the play and partnership,” said Jessica Kinsey, executive director of SUMA. “As the art museum at the Beverley Center for the Arts, this is a great example of how we can bring the performing and visual arts together.”

“This is the perfect companion piece to our highly-acclaimed production of Intimate Apparel,” added Donn Jersey, Festival director of development and communication. “Watch the play then visit the museum and learn about the corsets and the cottage industries that the play depicts.”

SUMA is located on the northwest corner of the Beverley Center for the Arts, just steps from the Festival theatres. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on SUMA, visit www.suu.edu/suma.

The Festival’s 2021 season continues through October 9. Plays arePericles, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, The Pirates of Penzance, Ragtime, Cymbeline, Intimate Apparel,andThe Comedy of Terrors. Tickets are available by calling 800-PLAYTIX or visiting www.bard.org.

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2023 www.bard.org