Nao Kobayashi is a graduate student in costume design whose work has been featured in SDSU shows Alice and Doctor Faustus Light the Lights. She is particularly skilled at imaginative and abstract costume and puppet designs. For the Spring 2016 production of The BFG, Nao is building six puppets who will act as the “child-eating,” evil giants in the show: Childchewer, Bonecruncher, and Bloodbottler, to name a few.
When creating puppets and costumes, Nao likes to incorporate the physical features of the actors into her designs. For instance, she says it wouldn’t make sense to give a brown-haired actress a puppet with short blonde hair. The physical similarities between performer and puppet enhance the audience’s ability to suspend their disbelief and merge the identity of puppeteer and puppet into one character. With a children’s theatre piece like The BFG, Nao recognizes it is important to extend reality in this way, providing the audience with a magical performance that takes you to a completely new, heightened plane.