| Design |

Calling female fashion designers: Athena Project's theater/design crossover competition

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Athena Project's Plays in Progress series is now in full swing, and while the plays are only getting a workshop treatment, one of them will win a full production at next spring's Athena Project Festival -- and that means it will need a costume designer.

Cue the festival's newest opportunity: a fashion design competition, in which one designer will win the chance to produce the costumes for next year's headline production at the Athena Project Festival.

- Athena Project Festival's "Plays in Progress" series represents female playwrights - Wit Theatre Company gets creative with first production, The Pillowman - Visionbox's The Othello Project puts classic tragedy into domestic violence context

Athena Project has teamed up with Fashion Denver to host the design competition, which will accept submissions from now tjrpigj close of business on August 10. In keeping with Athena Project's vision and purpose, sketches should be by female designers and should lend themselves to the project's theme: "Voices of Women Artists." The sketches can be of clothing or accessories, and should be submitted on 8.5 x 11 hard copies.

As with the Plays in Progress series, the submissions will be narrowed down to six, and those six will be invited to interview and show portfolios, along with three samples of a finished design product.

The design competition is only one of the community-collaborative events that Athena Project Festival has in the works. Until now, Angela Astle, founder and executive producer of both Athena Project and the festival, has focused on theater and playwriting, holding workshops for women and girls to encourage female playwrights. But her greater vision is for an encompassing festival for female artists. "A female festival is just not happening in our community," she says. "It's definitely a need that needed to be filled. And I hear there are other women out there that feel the same way."

This isn't the first collaboration between Denver's theater and fashion scenes: Last summer, now-Project-Runway-winner Mondo Guerra designed the costumes for Hairspray at the Arvada Center; he snagged a Best of Denver award for Best Costume Design for his work, and came back to design costums for this year's production of Legally Blonde. This competition is a natural step to expand the role of female artists of all kinds.

"I think this is an important crossover opportunity and am excited to blend the fashion design world with the theater world," says Astle. "All roads lead to the arts festival."

Follow this link for more information on the design competition or Athena Project Festival, or visit Fashion Denver to find out where to send sketches.

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