Speaking Her Truth Q&A with Costume Designer Elsa Hiltner

Lisa Mulcahy

Elsa Hiltner’s skill, intelligence, and curiosity have contributed to her accomplishments as a costume designer for theater, film, dance, and events during her 10-year-career. Based in Chicago and working nationwide, Hiltner holds a BA in costume design from Western Washington University, and a wigs and hair production certificate from DePaul University. A company member of Collaboration Theatre Company and an artistic associate with First Folio Theatre, Hiltner’s costume design work includes an impressive list of theater companies, including work for Steppenwolf, Next Act, Lifeline Theatre, Teatro Vista, American Blues Theater, Walkabout Theatre, American Theater Company, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Stone Soup Theatre Project, Balagan Theatre, and Signal Ensemble. Hiltner’s interest in Middle Eastern dress is a great influence for her, and she’s studied fashion history in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Morocco.

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An Ephemeral Village in London

Howard Sherman

A Visit into Punchdrunk’s Fallow Cross

Exiting the London tube at the Tottenham Hale station, it is not at all apparent that there’s a tiny throwback village in the vicinity. Indeed, without being given the specific address, one would have to be very focused to discover, like the protagonist of a fantasy novel, the tiny label over a door buzzer on a side street that says “Punchdrunk,” the name of the famed immersive theatre company best known in the U.S. for its long-running New York hit, Sleep No More. But with proper direction, a visitor can find the teeny company logo in a short list of firms on an entirely unremarkable looking, low slung commercial building, with attached warehouses.

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