Made In Chicago: Costume Designer Virgil Johnson
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CHICAGO (CBS) – For more than four decades, Virgil C. Johnson has been dressing the actors and actresses who grace Chicago’s stages.
Johnson who’s also a professor emeritus at Northwestern University, started out as an aspiring artist until his college days when he discovered his true passion.
“Suddenly, there was the theater,” he said.
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Now, for more than 40 years, he’s been designing costumes for Chicago’s best theater companies, including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, and the Lyric Opera. His latest project is the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s 25th anniversary production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies.”
“Follies is a fascinating and challenging problem for a designer because you have elements of the teens 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and the story takes place in 1971,” Johnson said.
Is he kept awake at night, worrying about wardrobe malfunctions?
“I have stopped worrying. I have discovered over years that malfunctions occur but they can be solved in the daylight hours.”