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Mean and Green, With a Splash (or More) of Ankara Print

Costumes tell a huge part of the story of ‘School Girls,’ a play by Jocelyn Bioh set in 1986 in which a group of Ghanaian school girls compete for a spot in the Miss Universe Pageant. A look at three recent productions through the eyes of their different costume designers shows the research and thought that went into framing the story through fashion. Each of the three costume designers used a different process, but research played a consistently crucial role in accurately representing African, as well as African-American culture. Barnes said he found it crucial to create an accurate depiction of the Ghanaian schoolgirls. “I never know if people from Ghana are going to come to that show,” he said, “and if they do, I don’t want them to walk out because I offended them.”