PARADE Talk on the Steps by Jack Smith

Costume Designer Jack Smith discusses the early 20th century women’s suffrage movement in the United States in his Talk on the Steps for PARADE, 5 November 2016 at the McCrary Theatre. Photo by Tony Spielberg.

Parade Costume Designer Jack Smith describes how Civil War quilts were created and used in different ways by women in the North and South in his Talk on the Steps for Parade, 5 November 2016. Using a quilt he had created from fabric scraps from Parade costumes and sewed on a 1915 Singer machine, he demonstrated different quilt block patterns from across the United States that would have been used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by women like Lucille Frank. He then transitioned from the idea of women’s domestic activities to the notion of women taking part in the early 20th century suffrage movement. As Parade Costume Designer, he chose to include suffragist costumes in the musical’s opening number to reflect how women like Lucille Frank struggled to be heard and taken seriously by those in power. 

Jack Smith sewed PARADE costumes and made a quilt from fabric scraps on this 1915 Singer machine. Photo by Tony Spielberg.
Jack Smith made this quilt from fabric scraps from PARADE costumes. The center block is a Star of David to honor of Leo and Lucille Frank, the tragic heroes of PARADE. Photo by Tony Spielberg.

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