Spotlight on Junior Theatre’s Wig & Makeup Designer, Meg Woodley!

Jason Blitman

San Diego Junior Theatre has had the pleasure of working with Wig & Makeup Artist, Meg Woodley on each of our productions since we reopened in September 2021. We thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on Meg, ask her some questions and take a look at some of her work.

Make sure to check out the photos below the Q & A!

SDJT: What inspired you to get into doing hair & makeup?

MEG: I’ve always loved playing with and doing my hair in different and sometimes crazy styles- there’s a great picture that I have of myself at 12 where I have several pigtails sticking out at random places! Professionally, I went to college for Musical Theatre Performance and my program was very strict about all the students in the program having more skills than just singing and acting. It was required of each of us to learn about every aspect of theatre and to work in all the different positions throughout our years in the program. I fell in love with stage makeup and how to make and style wigs! It allowed me to be creative in different ways!

SDJT: Did you train under anyone early in your career?

MEG: I got a basic education in stage makeup and styling wigs when I was in college but I had the best education when I started working at Alabama Shakespeare Theatre. I was hired as a wig intern and very quickly worked my way up to be the second in charge of the department. I was building wigs and prosthetics as well as running shows! It was a wonderful place to learn the foundation of my skills and I got to work on so many different types of shows and with different designers that it really strengthened my abilities.

SDJT: Aside from Junior Theatre, which theatres have you work worked at, here in San Diego or elsewhere?

MEG: I am the Wig and Makeup Supervisor at The Old Globe Theatre full-time now and have done some side projects for San Diego Opera Theatre, here in San Diego. I spent several years at the Alabama Shakespeare Theatre and with the Prather Production house in Pennsylvania. I have also done three national (and Canadian) tours and two international tours in China, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and have worked in theatres around the country and the world.

SDJT: What are some of your favorite shows you have worked on, both at Junior Theatre and at other theatres?

MEG: I’ve worked on some amazing shows! A few of my favorites are Beauty and the Beast, The Importance of Being Earnest (Alabama Shakespeare); Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Trojan Women (Rockford); The Wizard of Oz (National and International Tours); Come Fall In Love, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The XIXth (The Old Globe); The Jungle Book, Edgar Allan Poe’s Gruesome Gallery of Grotesquerie (Junior Theatre).

SDJT: Can you share some details about the work you did for those shows?

MEG: For most of the above shows I built and styled a lot of wigs, facial hair pieces, and for some I’ve gotten to make prosthetics. For Beauty and the Beast, I got to create the Beast’s facial prosthetics and make a lot of beautiful wigs! For A Midsummer Night’s Dream I got to make a really cool mohawk for Puck and several beautiful wigs! In all of these shows, I got to work with some amazing artists and people who made the whole process so much fun!

SDJT: Have you worked in tv and/or film?

MEG: I have done a little bit in short films- mostly styling hair but I also got the opportunity, recently, to create a character costume for the spooky ‘King’ character for a short film called Henry’s Kingdom.

SDJT: How is it working with JT students? Is it very different from your work at the Globe or elsewhere?

MEG: I’ve loved having the opportunity to work here at JT. I think it’s such a wonderful place for kids to be creative! It’s so important for them to have a space, not only to create, but also to feel comfortable expressing themselves and I think JT has been a wonderful place for that! The JT kids are so much fun to work with- no matter the size of the role or the crew position, they want to make it their own. It’s a real joy to see the kids want to learn anything they can and I try to always show them something new and cool, whether it’s a styling technique or a new makeup skill. I also thinks it’s such a good idea to have them try different crew positions as well as get to perform- I think it’s so important to learn all that you can and have an appreciation for the different jobs within the theatre. Also, my student crews have always been excited to try new things and ready to take on the challenges of the job! There are 22 wigs in The Sound of Music and my student crew is responsible for them throughout the run. I’m so proud of my teams and they have always worked really hard!

SDJT: Do you have any dream shows you’d love to work on?

MEG: I would love to work on lots of shows! Anything that will be challenging! But my top recent dream shows to do hair and makeup on would probably be Shrek the Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton and Six! I love musicals!

SDJT: And finally, do you have any aspirations outside of hair & makeup?

MEG: Now that we’re back in the swing of things after the pandemic, I’d really love to get back into performing! I miss singing on the stage! But I’ve also been thinking about possibly going back to school to get a degree in psychology.

Check out Meg’s latest wig and makeup creations in our 76th season of productions, starting with The Sound of Music, running now through November 12!

Photos below: Meg’s hair and make up creations on such show as How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Beauty and the Beast and Junior Theatre’s The Spongebob Musical.

JT Mark Circled Purple