The last 4 days of class were very exciting as they brought guest artist and instructor Diane Trapp to oversee our Character & Special Effects Program! She brought 47 years of sculpting experience to our classroom as she helped students sculpt their final character designs on their life casts in preparation for making molds and foam latex appliances to be applied to their models. Diane Trapp is no stranger to the human face as she has been working as a makeup artist on theater productions since the age of 17, and she’s been teaching sculpting, theatrical makeup and workshops at Portland Community College since the 1970’s.
In the mid-80’s Diane began creating masks for New Orleans “Street of Mask Makers” which is funded by the city each year. The past 26 years she’s been traveling to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with over 200 creations to sell at the Mask Market. She is now a staple Resident Artisan at Mardi Gras. Along with her makeup, sculpting, prosthetic and mask making skills, Diane is also a wig master. She knows how to hand tie a wig from scratch, redesign, restyle or alter a wig with her many professional wig making skills. She is hired by many theater companies looking for specific period or character wig pieces.
We asked her where she draws inspiration from and what her favorite designs are. She said, “Living in the Pacific Northwest I’m constantly influenced by the Native culture and inspired by the animals that are a part of their culture.” “I love designing creatures and talking to the actors that bring those creatures to life. It’s important to understand the characters’ background and do extensive research.”
Diane has worked for almost every theater in Portland. She is currently the resident makeup designer for the Eugene Opera, for Portland Musical Theater Company and Tygres Heart Shakespeare Theater, and the key makeup artist for the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s performance of The Nutcracker at The Keller Auditorium every year. We were very lucky to have her here just as students are getting ready to volunteer at The Nutcracker next month. Diane personally gave our students a hands-on lesson and demonstration of the theatrical makeup that the students will be doing on The Nutcracker when they will be working on it themselves. They were surprised to find out that they will be working side by side with Diane backstage at The Keller!
Thank you Diane for such a great class and for sharing all of your years of wisdom with us! We hope to see you back again soon, and rumor has it…maybe even for our next Character & Special Effects Program! Just as we see you every year, we will see you backstage at The Nutcracker! If you’re looking for some fun this holiday season, visit https://www.theatreboxofficetickets.com/venues/keller-auditorium to purchase tickets.