Four Questions with Costume Designer Emily Woods Hogue

Turn of the Screw Costume Designer Emily Woods Hogue tells us about her days working with historical costumes…and her own run in with historical ghosts. 

What drew you to this project?

I was drawn to this project because I think “The Turn of the Screw” is a fantastic ghost story. I am also eager to tackle the late nineteenth-century both in terms of costume design and clothing construction.

What is the biggest challenge for you of working in spaces like the Gibson and Taylor House that aren’t normally used for theatre performances?

As a former museum worker and as someone who delights in old buildings, I am positively tickled by the idea of working in both of these historical spaces! I am not yet sure as to what kind of challenges will be presented… I guess I can say that I hope no scrappy poltergeists play “Hide-The-Costumes”!

What are you most excited about this process?

I am most excited about building a full late nineteenth-century dress for Anna as the Woman, but I am also very intrigued by figuring out changes from character to character for Stephen as the Man (hint: a top hat will be involved)!

What’s your favorite ghost story and/or have you ever had a personal ghost story?

When I was interning at Colonial Williamsburg, we were shooting a short feature on the site of the Jamestown Settlement at around midnight one night. I was sent out to my supervisor’s car to fetch something and as I was returning to the shoot, I could swear that something was watching me…and this feeling shook me directly to my core. So I bolted, like a five-year-old afraid of the dark.

Now, I’m usually the friend who watches horror movies on Netflix late at night with the lights off for funzies, so everyone I told this story to decided that I was actually a big chicken, regardless of my Romero-lovin’ bravado. However! When it broke this past year that the Jamestown Settlement had to resort to cannibalism in their most desperate hours in the winter of 1609-1610, I felt a little vindicated… maybe I had just passed through a pocket of hungry ghosts!