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The Color Purple

The Color Purple: Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. Book by Marsha Norman. Based on the Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name and the classic 1985 Steven Spielberg film, The Color Purple is a musical that tells the life story of Celie, a downtrodden African American living in the American South during the early 20th century. With an imaginative score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, blues and traditional African music, Celie’s story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversity and tragedy is told in epic fashion. The Color Purple’s story stands a testament the healing power of love and life.

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Rental Costumes for The Color Purple 

            What do you get when you request a FREE costume plot from The Costumer?  We will send you the listing and costume description for the entire show, organized by act and scene for your convenience. The Costumer is proud to provide quality Adult and Children’s rental costumes for productions of The Color Purple! Group costume rentals for The Color Purple cover the entire cast including leads such as Celie, Nettie, Mister, Harpo, Sofia, and Shug Avery, as well as ensemble members like the Church Ladies and Villagers.


            The Color Purple is a musical adapted from the 1982 novel of the same name that follows the story of Celie, an African-American woman living in the American South during the early to mid-1900’s. With music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray, and book by Marsha Norman, The Color Purple opened on Broadway on December 1st, 2005 and ran until 2008. The original Broadway production earned eleven Tony Award nominations in 2006, and the musical’s subsequent revival which ran from 2015-2017 won two Tony Awards in 2016 – including Best Revival of a Musical.


            The story begins on a Sunday morning in 1909 Georgia, where fourteen-year-old Celie plays a clapping game with her younger sister Nettie. Playing this game with her sister is a welcome respite for Celie, for she is pregnant with her second child by her father, Alphonso (Pa). While attending church services with other members of her community, Celie goes into labor and must be dragged out of the service while the rest of the congregation silently looks on (“Huckleberry Pie/Mysterious Ways”). Upon giving birth to a son, Alphonso takes the newborn child away from Celie and tells her bluntly and cruelly that he is going to get rid of it like her firstborn. Devastated, Celie says goodbye to her baby and pleads with God to show her a sign (“Somebody Gonna Love You”).


            From the very start of Celie’s heartbreaking journey, The Costumer will ensure that your audience is immediately transported to early 20th century Georgia with the help of our fabulous rental costumes. Celie and Nettie will resemble young girls from the era with youthful calico print dresses and pinafore aprons. Celie’s costume will also feature a pregnancy pad to represent the teen carrying a child of her own. The lecherous Alphonso will be clothed like a blue-collar man of the era with a collarless work shirt, work pants, a casual vest, and a matching pair of suspenders. The congregation of Church Ladies will be dressed in their Sunday best with an array of pale-colored 1910’s style dresses or matching skirts and blouses, complete with a straw hat and flowers.


            The story picks up four years later, as a local farmer and widower named Albert “Mister’ Johnson asks Alphonso for permission to marry one of his young daughters. Alphonso agrees to Johnson’s proposition and offers him Celie and throws a cow into the deal as well. Although the two girls promised to never be separated from one another, Celie agrees to go and marry Mister in order to preserve Nettie’s dreams of becoming a teacher (“Our Prayer”). The Church Ladies voice their approval of Celie and Mister’s engagement (“That Fine Mister”) while Mister’s field hands introduce the young woman to a life of hard work on the farm (“Big Dog”).


            As Celie settles into her new life on Mister’s farm, Nettie suddenly arrives. She explains to her sister that she is sick and tired of Alphonso’s incestuous assaults and asks if she can stay at the farm. Mister initially agrees, but he later attacks Nettie on her way to school, prompting Nettie to fight back against him. Angered by her resistance, Mister kicks Nettie out and swears that Celie will never see her sister again. As she leaves, Nettie promises to write to her sister. However, when Celie goes to the mailbox the following day, the malevolent Mister slams it shut on Celie and threatens to kill her if she ever touches the box again (“Lily of the Field”).


             The story picks up in the year 1920, where Mister’s son Harpo brings home Sofia, an iron-willed woman who Harpo later marries (Dear God – Sofia). Harpo, who is kinder and gentler than his father, complains to Mister and Celie that he is tired of Sofia bossing him around and not listening to him. Mister tells his son that the only way to make her obey him is to beat her. Celie, jealous of Harpo’s genuine love for his wife, supports Mister’s advice. Harpo subsequently tries to beat Sofia; however, she fights back and beats him instead (“A Tree Named Sofia”). Sofia confronts Celie about her role in Harpo’s attempted assault, but she learns the true extent of Mister’s cruelty towards Celie. Sofia urges Celie to stand up for herself before leaving to be with her sisters (“Hell No!”).


            As Celie’s story continues, The Costumer will continue to provide era appropriate costumes for each one of your cast members. Clothed in early 20th century style work pants, vest, shirt, suspenders and plantation hat, Mister will look like that of a Southern farmer from the time period. Additionally, Harpo will embody the son of such a farmer with a pair of knickers, a collarless shirt, and matching suspenders. Sofia will enter the stage in a modest 1920’s print dress with a pregnancy pad, and a fashionable hat complete with a flower. As more and more characters are introduced such as Shug Avery and Squeak, The Costumer will continue to provide quality costumes to each and every actor.


            This is only a mere glimpse at what The Costumer has to offer for The Color Purple the musical! With the help of our rental costumes, let your artistic vision come to life onstage and transport your audience to Celie’s world. Request your free plot today!

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