Luisa, Innkeeper in "The Baker of Madrigal"


Character Analysis

Luisa is the Innkeeper who opens the play.  She is a very proud widow of  a Portuguese soldier.  While very strict in terms of the standards of cleanliness she also has some of the funniest lines in the play.  She is a very passionate, self-controlled woman who hates the Spanish governor she is forced to serve.  The costume needed to reflect her strict self-control, her social class (upper middle class) and yet convey her passion and earthiness.

Historical Model /Inspiration

The painting "Christ in the house of Martha and Mary" by Diego Velazquez served as both a model and an inspiration for this costume.  Although the painting was done over two decades after the time of the play the simple doublet and the coloring of the young woman in Velazquez' painting seemed to depict Luisa's basic personality of coping with prolonged grief and stress through action.  The final costume promoted her from the kitchen to the Innkeeper with the addition of an appropriate period hat, collar and cuffs.
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Concept Sketch

Luisa is conceived in a simple but restraining women's doublet with lacing up the front and skirt.  This skirt requires a crinoline petticoat to make the form correct.

Designer's Notes

The woman's doublet is made of a curved front bodice, back, front and back skirts and sleeve.  Darts had not been invented in the 16th century so all fitting of curves had to be done through the shaping of the pieces. 
Concept Sketch of Luisa's Costume

Alternate View

Rodrigo threatens Luisa in Act I

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