Elly Jessop Nattinger, Experience Engineer

people + space (+ technology)

Costume Design for Bat Boy: The Musical

The Parker family, with the addition of a newly-civilized Bat Boy.

The townspeople pursuade Dr. Parker to keep Bat Boy hidden.

Dr. Parker and Mrs. Parker.

Mrs. Parker attempts to help Bat Boy reach his fullest potential.

The voices inside Dr. Parker's head argue that he should kill Bat Boy.

After Bat Boy and Shelley run away from home, they are met by woodland animals led by Pan.

Bat Boy and Shelley.

All production photographs by Jax Kirtley.

In the summer of 2009, I designed costumes for the MIT Musical Theater Guild's production of Bat Boy: The Musical. In this show, the Parker family takes in a strange boy - part bat, part man - found in a neighboring cave, and try to protect him from the townspeople who believe he is responsible for the deaths of their cattle and several recent murders. However, even as Bat Boy integrates into the family and believes he has found love with the Parkers' daughter Shelley, his appearance brings out dark and disturbing secrets that the Parkers had hoped were buried forever.

The director decided that she wanted to set the production in the 1950's, and play up the disparity between the external image of the family, keeping up a seemingly perfect Leave It To Beaver appearance, and the internal secrets and disasters waiting to break loose with the arrival of Bat Boy. I accented this vision by using a neutral color palette for the townspeople and bright, peculiar color accents for the family. Another design focus was on versatile costumes that would work for a small cast playing a large range of roles with many rapid costume changes, including cross-gender roles.

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