Virginia Varland

Costume Design

The visit

Play by Fredrich Durrenmatt

Theoretical Design             

Claire Zachanassian, an elderly and eccentric millionairess returns to her impoverished hometown to strike a bargain: she demands the execution of Ill, her former lover, in exchange for a bailout to revitalize Guellen. Though the town initially rejects her scheme, one by one the townspeople are seduced by decadence and eventually the people of Guellen abandon their morals and murder Ill.

The Visit is brimmed with decadence invariably tinged with presentiments of decay and destruction that come as the price of the loss of morality. This is hardly better exhibited than by the artists of Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) whose work depicted the inevitable degeneration of Germany under the Weimar Republic. I have drawn inspiration from painters such as Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Max Beckmann to create costumes that display a heightened characterization of both the extravagance of the era and the moral vacuity that accompanied it.