Annie Wright presents David Bowie-inspired Guys and Dolls


hats for the crap shooters

Maeve Hunt

In only two short weeks, the Annie Wright Upper School musical Guys and Dolls will hit the stage. Guys and Dolls is directed by Elizabeth Gettel and has a cast of around 23 students, plus special faculty guest Donald Sidman.

Guys and Dolls tells the story of a group of gamblers who are looking for someplace to “shoot crap.” In the same small town, many missionaries are trying to find sinners who they can guide to “save their souls.” Through a series of bets, prayer meetings, and plenty of fun dances and songs, the musical tells a story of wit, humor, and even a bit of romance.

The aesthetic of the show is meant to be very clean and modern but still with the classic music from the original musical. “I did not want to do a traditional version of this and since I knew we were going to have girls playing guys, I was kind of inspired by David Bowie and having kind of an androgynous feel to it,” said Gettel.

Annie Wright alumna Haley Parks ’13, who has degree in Theater Design and Technology from the College of Theatre and Designing Arts at Syracuse University, is designing the costumes for the musical. “Instead of it being the typical really colorful doughty 1940s look, I just took the same pinstripe traditional look of the 40’s with modern silhouettes,” she said.

Parks goes through a particular process to create the special looks. She starts by having a conversation with the director to discuss what they want to see on stage. Then she researches many images to get a mood board to present to the director. Next, she uses a procreate app on her iPad to draw sketches of costumes, and then she shows them to the director. After taking basic measurements, she then, for this production in particular, did a lot of online shopping to try to match clothing items as close as possible to her original design.

The Upper School presents the musical Guys and Dolls in the Kemper Theater on February 16 and 17 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free to all.