Broadway fans know that donning theatre-inspired looks is a year-round activity, but Halloween is a great excuse to do it even more.
Women of Color on Broadway Inc. (who you got to know earlier this year) and MAC Cosmetics teamed up to showcase four up-and-coming makeup artists of color showing off looks inspired by notable Broadway characters, in efforts to amplify diversity within the next generation of behind-the-scenes theatre professionals.
Meet the artists and see their work below:
“Elphabaddie” by Kendra Tocco
“Broadway, makeup ,and cosplay have been my interests and passions for as long as I can remember! I’ve only recently gotten into doing makeup and cosplay, and I’m working on being better at it everyday. This Halloween, I want to send a message of ’embracing your abnormalities’ by celebrating the things that make you different.”
From WOCoB: Since its 2003 premiere, only one Black woman has played the role of Elphaba full-time in any production of Wicked. In the musical, Elphaba’s green skin is characterized as an abnormality. Her actions reflect her desire for a community to accept her and her talents, and overlook her differences. The “Elphabaddie” is bold, unapologetic, and green AF.
“Lady of the Underground” by Allie J
“I’ve had a love for theatre, specifically musicals, since I was a kid, so this project was so fun to be a part of! The goddess’ typical minimalistic makeup inspired me to take an editorial approach for the look.”
From WOCoB: With eight Tony awards, Hadestown was easily one of the biggest musicals of the year. This particular Broadway production was celebrated for having an all-female creative team, and two female lead characters who were of color. One of the leads, Persephone, goddess of harvest, spring, and fertility, was played by Tony nominee Amber Gray. Her look usually consists of little makeup, a smokey eye, nude lip with a flower in her hair. This is for the girls who may not want to go full glam this quarantine-Halloween, but still want to make a stylish impression.
“The Angel of Music” by Marina Rosario
“Makeup has been my passion since I was 13. I started off at Sephora on 50th and Lexington, and worked my way up from there. Being part of this project made is so rewarding, I’m doing it for my Latinas and women of color!”
From WOCoB: Throughout its 30-year run on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera has faced difficulty in diversifying their cast and behind-the-scenes crew. According to Playbill, only one Black woman is currently cast in the production (Janinah Burnett as the understudy of Carlotta Guidicelli), and only one Asian woman is cast as a lead (Erica Wong as Meg Giry) in the production. The infamous “Angel of Music” was originally written to be a strong, passionate, mystical, yet misunderstood male figure. Marina Rosario re-illustrates the image of a strong, passionate, and dynamite character on a Broadway with her androgynous approach to “Angel of Music.” Rosario’s Halloween look proves that women of color are versatile enough to work in any theatrical production, regardless of the time period in which it’s written in.
“Donna Summer 2020” by Essence Shannon
“I am the CEO of Essence’s Artistry, a small business where we make everyone feel beautiful. I have been doing makeup for four years now, and I can honestly say making women feel good and transforming them into whatever they’d like to be for the moment has grown to be my passion. As a dark-skinned girl with a roster of majority darker-skinned women, I was more than thrilled to do a makeup look that celebrated women who share my skin tone.”
From WOCoB: In recent years, Broadway has seen a resurgence of musicals that are based on the lives and careers of prominent Black musicians between the 1960s-1980s. Musicals such as Motown, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical have seen great success, and played a significant role in hiring Black performers and creatives to work on Broadway. In honor of those productions, and the musicians they celebrate, Essence re-imagined Donna Summer in the year 2020.
“GRWM Halloween Edition” by Victoria Velazquez and Alexia Sielo
The Little Mermaid‘s Ursula and Aladdin‘s Jafar
WOCoB co-founders Victoria Velazquez and Alexia Sielo discuss building their organization and launching their education program L.I.W.I.C to help female college students of color start their careers in musical theatre.