By Jessica Parr, professor of theatre
The Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance Department’s recent performance of Into the Woods benefitted from an unusual collaboration with the Computer Information Systems program. In her research, student costume designer Mary Rogers found an example of 3D printed claws she wanted to experiment with for the Big Bad Wolf character. She reached out to CIS professor Dr. Begona Perez-Mira, who generously offered access to their 3D printer. Dr. Perez-Mira brought in CIS student James Maricle to help with the project. Over the next several weeks the three experimented printing custom claws directly onto fabrics. Their goal was to create light weight clawed gloves large enough to read from stage that didn’t impede the actor’s hands and allowed for a full range of motion. They tested which fabrics adhere best to the printed material and which shapes make for a stable claw. They worked out the best claw spacing and custom tailored gloves to the actor’s hands. Their hard work paid off when the Big Bad Wolf took the stage, and a research goal became a reality.