Q&A: Keebler Straz, Waa-Mu hair designer


Zack Laurence/The Daily Northwestern

Keebler Straz is the hair designer for this year’s Waa-Mu Show, “Gold.” Straz researched 1930s hairstyles in order to create the look for the production.

Rachel Davison, Assistant A&E Editor


After working on hair design during this year’s Dolphin Show, Communication freshman Keebler Straz is now acting as the hair designer for this year’s Waa-Mu Show, “Gold.” The Daily sat down with Straz to talk about her experience with this year’s show and the challenges of designing hair that represents the show’s 1936 time period.

Why did you want to get involved with Waa-Mu and how did you become hair designer?

I figured they probably already had a designer for hair and makeup and I just wanted to get involved because I worked with several people that are on the Waa-Mu team, and also in the cast, on Dolphin. So I got involved, and then they were like, “How do you want to call the people in for shifts to learn how to do their hair?” I was like, “Excuse me?” They said, “Well, you’re doing hair design.”

What has the hair design process been like?

I researched the time period and looked up articles on Wikipedia about the fashion in that time period. And then I pulled a bunch of pictures off Pinterest and Google Images of hair at the time period, like 1936, and I looked up pictures of the Olympic Games. … Then I went to the crew view of the show to see what the show was shaping up to look like, and also to get a better idea of what specifically the girls’ hair looked like and what each person’s hair would be able to do. … We had a day where we went in and I met with blocks of girls in the show in shifts for about 30 minutes. I basically talked to them about what I was thinking their hair should look like, if they were able to use curling irons, because that’s a huge thing with that period in particular, and how much help they would need and taught them what to do. We worked on that, and then they went through the first tech day with their hair done. … After the first tech rehearsal I talked with the designers, and they were like “Okay, we love this hair, this hair looks too similar to someone else’s, can we change that in a way?” and it just kind of molded from there.

What is challenging about doing hair design for a cast of this size?

I think the only challenge of working with this size of a cast is making sure that everyone has the help they need in getting their hair done, because some people have much more practice doing their hair in period ways, so they can just get done very quickly, and other people need a lot more help because they don’t have that much practice or because their hair doesn’t like to do things, basically. It’s never been a huge problem, mostly because everyone’s really good-spirited about it.

What has been the focus of the hair design for this production?

Mostly, it’s been about time period and the fact that I think all of the girls at some point play athletes, so the hair has to be functional with the time period, but also with the fact that athletes really wouldn’t have had the elaborate hair that the time period called for, with bobs or a lot of rolls and curls, because it would have been in their way as athletes. But to just stick them in a ponytail or a braid would just not look period or finished.

What is the most exciting part of being involved in the Waa-Mu Show for the first time?

I think the most exciting thing about being a part of Waa-Mu is that everyone is a part of it. It’s not that the only people that matter are the cast or the writers. Everyone that has any sort of a hand in any part of the production process is part of the Waa-Mu family, and I really love that. I think that’s a huge thing that makes Waa-Mu as special as it is, because that’s not the case everywhere.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @razdav5678