Parmalee Tolkan kneels near a hand-painted scenic backdrop in her studio in the basement of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. She's been living in the Adirondacks and creating costumes for Broadway shows for more than 30 years. Photo: Todd Moe
Jul 22, 2014 — Hours from the lights of Broadway, an Adirondack artist has made a career of creating costumes for some of the city's biggest shows.
For more than 30 years, Parmalee Tolkan has been painting costumes and scenery for the theater, working with some of the greatest designers and scenic artists on Broadway. Scenic arts and colorful costumes from a studio in one of the most scenic parts of the country.
Parmalee Tolkan works in a quiet space in the lower level of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Email, social media and FedEx allow her to create costumes in the Adirondacks that will end up on stage in New York City.
A member of the United Scenic Artists Union, she's also painted murals for venues like the Northwoods Inn and the Adirondack Carousel, but Parmalee told Todd Moe that she prefers the collaborative process of theater over the life of a solitary artist. Go to full article
Potsdam, NY, Apr 09, 2010 — Months before the opening night of any theatrical production, the drama starts backstage with the set, lighting and costume designs. Props, makeup and clothing are created by folks you won't see in front of the curtain, but by a crew of hidden artists.
For today's "Heard Up North," we step behind the scenes. Julia Ferreri is the costume shop manager at SUNY Potsdam. She's designing the costumes for next week's opera production of Ravel's The Child and the Enchanted Ones - the story of a rude child whose toys and furniture one day retaliate as they come to life. The designer draws inspiration from the story, the characters and the director. In between is a lot of common sense and creativity. And it's more of a challenge when the characters are chairs, a teacup or a grandfather clock. Go to full article