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Unread 05-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #1
La_Polilla
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Frozen: Elsa Transformation help

So I want to do Elsa's transformation on stage, switching from one costume to the other without going behind any kind of screen to change. My original plan was to have the costume be reversible, and turn around each piece at different points in the song. However, I'd need helpers to make this happen smoothly. Someone told me it would be more impressive if I could switch the costumes without any helpers, but the only way I can think to do that is to literally wear one dress over the other one and just drop the top one to reveal the one underneath.

Would that look okay? Would that be enough spectacle? Or is there another way to do this?
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Unread 05-17-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
ichigo_m.
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I agree that having people help would not look as cool as you are wanting. You could use sparkle tulle to fall down after the first dress to make a more magical look if that's what you're going for.

Personally I really like this version of the Elsa transformation.
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Unread 05-17-2014, 10:37 PM   #3
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What you could do is put Velcro in the final back seems so it rips off seamlessly.
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Unread 05-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #4
Aliyev
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Oh man I know about this! I did costume design for a school play where several characters did on-stage transforms. So, here, have an info dump. ^.^ I'm not one-hundred percent sure on what will work best for you, though, so you may have to do some experimenting.
Okay, for fast reveals/changes, use snaps, not velcro. Velcro is for putting things on quickly, snaps for taking it off quickly. Or, if you can, use magnets! Magnets are good for putting on/taking off costumes really quickly; that's what all the Broadway costumers are doing. If putting the costume on quickly isn't priority though, use snaps. They don't cost as much.
Look up some videos of Broadway transformations, like Cinderella or the Lady of the Lake from Spamalot. It's an easy way to familiarize yourself with quick changes and get an idea of what you want yours to look like. I'd recommend a spin transformation, it's usually the easiest with dresses in my experience. Practice it, though, you might find something else easier. With the ice dress, which will be underneath, having such a slim skirt I don't think you can do a flip change like the Lady of the Lake does, the coronation dress would be to bulky underneath?? But maybe if you just rip off the top and flip skirts it might work, not quite sure on that one.
Off the top of my head and with little/no reference on the dresses, I'd say put snaps down the back and both sleeves so it rips off easy. If you can, make like a T with the snaps so that the arm snaps/back snaps connect at the neck? That way you can just grab the front with both hands and tug. The cloak part can be snapped/velcroed or otherwise secured to the underside of the coronation dress so when that comes off, the cloak is freed.
If you're using a wig and are changing that as well I definitely recommend magnets. Sew some into the wigs and into your wig cap. You can rip one wig off and throw the other on and it (should) be perfect. That's the technique used in the Shrek musical for the ogre/human changes, since Fiona has to change super quick.

I hope that all that info helped >.< Sorry if it's a bit confusing! If you need clarification just let me know, I'll do my best. ^.^

EDIT: I just watched the video that ichigo_m posted and that Elsa did pretty much what I'm recommending, just tearing the dress off from the front. I still recommend a spin, though, I think it looks pretty. ^.^
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Last edited by Aliyev : 05-17-2014 at 11:24 PM.
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Unread 05-18-2014, 09:34 AM   #5
La_Polilla
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That is super helpful. I've been trying to find quick change stuff online, but I was having a hard time finding examples of onstage changes that weren't Katie Perry going behind a screen. Haha.
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Unread 05-20-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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I never thought about snaps. I've always had problems with snaps not un-snapping or ripping my fabric, or getting pulled off. Velcro has never let me down. Granted I have access to like the type of Velcro that is used on Firefighter suits (so it's a plus that any costume I make with Velcro will have that spot somewhat fireproof XD)
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Unread 05-20-2014, 06:11 PM   #7
Aliyev
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Ah, okay! I always use snaps because the Velcro I get isn't the best and/or very old, whereas the snaps I have are always nice quality. The Velcro is just as likely to attach to my fabric and get it all snarly instead of on the other piece of Velcro, which is a general deterrent for me. Plus, several people much more experienced with me told me to use snaps, so I went with that.
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Unread 06-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
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That'd be tricky but it'd be a cool out come maybe you can have stage ninjas flow blue snowy fabric as you change hope it goes well
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Unread 06-11-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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I decided last minute to do a transformation on stage so a quick-and-dirty method I used was just to have the coronation cape (slightly modified) over my dress and my braid pinned up.... unpinned the brain at the right point and dropped the cape... (didn't quite do this part how I had rehearsed but the audience still liked it... lol... (There's a video on my Instagram)

Hopefully one day I can do a proper dress-to-dress transformation...
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