Design Statement by Our Scenic Designer, Julia Mimo

21 09 2020

Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St. John’s How The Vote Was Won explores themes of gender roles and the determination of the suffragettes as the women’s suffrage movement implements itself directly into Horace Cole’s life.

This production will be set as written in the late 19th century over an afternoon in a British home. Choosing this time period realistically shows the early suffragette movement and the perception of women by society during this time.

The slightly worn out characteristics of the design will reflect Horace’s financial situation. Horace and Ethel are not described to be poor, but Horace barely has the means to keep his house together and to keep a maid or two, whom Ethel pays for anyway. The state of his home shows that he can not afford to support anyone else. The color palette and general aesthetic of the design will be traditionally masculine. The design will be made up of dark stained wood and dark hunter green. The home will be quite minimalistic in decor. The masculine feel of the home shows that the house is Horace’s and it is a place that he feels that he has control over. Horace is a man that would not want feminine things in his space. As Horace’s relatives continue to come into his home they will bring luggage, coats, hats, and other objects into the space that look quite feminine. Not only are the women forcibly making Horace change his mind about women’s suffrage, they are bringing the women’s suffrage movement directly into his home. They continue to decorate his home and once it has evolved into a differently looking space, he will have realized that he can not beat the women. They have entered his life and he must change so that he can have his life back to how he wants it to be.

Through the masculine feel of the room and its evolution as the women make it their own, the design is able to convey the determination of the suffragettes to coerce the men in their lives to support their right to vote and to realize how ridiculous it is that they have not yet received the vote.



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