Return to Headlines

A career in the theater awaits MCVTS senior

A career in the theater awaits MCVTS senior

East Brunswick Tech senior Caden Green knows exactly what he wants to do when he finishes his schooling.

“I want to do costume design as my career,” he said.

Caden, who lives in Sayreville, will be in the first graduating class of arts technology majors in the School of the Arts on the East Brunswick Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. He has been in the program since his freshman year after first being exposed to it during the shop rotations that all freshmen go through.

He said he began doing costume designs in middle school, “then I cycled through here and it just clicked.”

“When I saw he was interested in all kinds of art, that is kind of the perfect brew for this major,” teacher Lea Anello said.

Caden’s costume designs for “Macbeth” were recently judged “superior” at the New Jersey Thespian Festival, qualifying him to compete at the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in June and presenting him with a choice between attending his graduation and competing. He’s leaning toward competing.

The winning designs give Shakespeare’s characters a Nordic appearance. Caden said he did a lot of research and decided to have Macbeth and Lady Macbeth resemble figures from Norse myths.

“I like classical pieces because you have so much more freedom with what you can do with the costumes,” Caden said. “And I love the idea of the Scottish play.”

Anello said costume design also includes makeup, hair and accessories, and the process normally would involve the director of the play, but since Caden’s production was theoretical, “he was his own director.”

She said Caden did his entry “all on his own time,” independent of his classroom work.

The costumes are earth-toned, for the most part, Caden said. But both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth also wear some symbolic color.

“He has red gloves on because of all the blood on his hands,” Caden said, adding that Lady Macbeth is dressed all in red. “It shows that she has as much blood on her as he does.”

Duncan is clothed in regal gold, while the three witches wear raven masks and feathered capes.

He keeps his preliminary drawings and fabric swatches in a binder – he calls it his “costume bible” – which was part of his entry for the New Jersey Thespian Festival.

Although Caden has never seen a production of “Macbeth,” the 45 MCVTS arts technology students have taken a number of field trips to area theaters, funded by a state grant.

The MCVTS arts technology program includes scene design, costume design, lighting and audio design, stage management, projections, stage craft, computer-aided drafting for performances, live sound and audio engineering, model making, rigging, special effects, set design and entertainment technology.