Whanganui art teacher Maria Fredette is relishing the opportunity to make the head gear for the February production of The Tempest.

Ms Fredette owns and run Fredette School of Arts, and one day she received a visit from The Tempest's director, Karen Craig.

"She popped in, and had a look at some of my work. Then she asked if I would be interested in making the headdresses for The Tempest, and I said I would," Ms Fredette said.

"I've done work like this before, but not for Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, so I'm really looking forward to it."


Ms Fredette will make headdresses for the characters of Ariel and the Hounds, as well as prosthetics for Caliban.

The headdress for Ariel has already been made. It is constructed of about 150 carved and sculpted foam shells which have been glued together and hand-painted. The headdress's wings are made of fabric stiffened with wire, so they can be shaped. It's finished off with tiny resin sea creatures.

"It took about a week and a half to make," Ms Fredette said.

Although the headdresses look impressive, they're very light, so they won't be difficult for the actors to wear.

Caliban's prosthetics, made of latex, will be more challenging for the actor.

"For Caliban, I will have to get the actor in here to actually do a head-casting, which should be interesting," Ms Fredette said.

The Tempest will be held from February 22-24, 2018. Tickets are $10 and are available from the Royal Wanganui Opera House.