Basic Costuming

Every cast member had four basic costume pieces: a robe, a drape, a belt, and sandals. The majority of the cast also had an angel robe worn over their basic costume for chorus scenes in which they represent heavenly beings.



The basic robe was a modified T-shaped garment made from rustic materials.  Some fabrics that worked well were monk’s cloth, linen or linen looks, raw silks, textured cottons and rough woolen looks. Robes were worn about ankle length.  Sleeve length was at or slightly above the wrist. 


Drapes were made from lengths of fabric about 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 yards each.  Fabrics used included rayon, upholstery (without backings), wool, linen, antique satins, and chiffons.  Carl Bloch’s paintings greatly influenced the design and use of drapes.  The way a drape wraps around the body helps create the feeling of encumbrance in mortality. Therefore, actors and directors should pay special attention to the use of drapes and how they are worn.


Belts were made mostly from rope, fabric scraps and gimp (upholstery) trims.  Many belts used combinations of these elements braided together.


Sandals resembled Jewish styles of the period.  Some modern styles, such as thick soles, are not appropriate.  Sources for the sandals were found through research on the Internet.  

Beards and Head Coverings

If the men in the cast had time and it did not interfere with school or employment, they grew out their beards and hair.  Head coverings were used to give variety to scenes and to cover short or blonde hair on both men and women.

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