Meet Jonida Beqo, Costume Designer for "The Gifts of the Magi"

Posted on November 16, 2012

Jonida Beqo wears many artistic hats. She is known on the international slam and performance poetry scene as Gypsee Yo.

Speaking of, do you have your tickets to: Harabel yet? Harabel is Jonida's powerful one-woman show about her journey from the war-torn Balkans to the American South. It runs for one weekend only here at Theatrical Outfit from January 10-13. Learn more.


Harabel Image


She joins us once again as Costume Designer for the turn-of-the-century Christmas musical The Gifts of the Magi, based on O. Henry's classic story.

Be sure to get your tickets to see this heartwarming musical and Jonida's beautiful costumes (including a knee-length wig, of course!).


MAGI Show Artwork

By Mark St. Germain
Music by Randy Courts

NOV 29 - DEC 23, 2012
BUY TICKETS ONLINE or call 1.877.725.8849 


Tell us about yourself & your work outside of Theatrical Outfit:

I am an Albanian native who recently became a proud American. I am a full-time costume designer, performance poet, and teaching artist. I work from my home so I can be with my children. They have been known to show up sometimes at fittings or production meetings where they get to sit next to Tom Key.

What other shows have you done for Theatrical Outfit:

My first show at T.O. was Blood Knot, featuring Tom Key and Kenny Leon. It started a great collaboration and friendship for me with both T.O. and True Colors Company. Other shows I have designed for T.O. include Around the World in 80 Days, Young Man From Atlanta, and The Green Book. This year our collaboration is extended to The Gifts of The Magi and Harabel, my acting debut at T.O.

Tell us about your vision for the show/design?

The design has been inspired by the colors and textures of the photographs and postcards of the play's time period. There is something gritty about the bustling city life of the time yet something interestingly soft and luminous about the quality of the photographs.

In this production, several actors play more than one character, what is it like to design several characters for one actor? Any tricks of the trade utilized in the design to help them quick change?

When designing for an actor that plays several characters the main goal is to facilitate the actor's process not only in the creation of each character but also in the smooth transition from one character to another, while still maintaining the accuracy of the time period and the integrity of the design vision. The tricks of the trade will not be revealed but I can assure you, there will be no velcro. I hate the sound of it.

"The Gift of the Magi" is such a classic story, so what’s unique about the design concept for this production? How has the time period affected your design ideas?

The time period always informs the choices I make in the design. In each time period, including today, clothing informs about people's socio-economic, politics, proffession, and even belief system. We have an amazing production team working to tell a great human story, and my part in the process is to make the characters real, give them dimension and depth. I aim to provide clothing vs. "costuming" (in the commercial sense of the word).

Who has been your favorite character to design?

The "City He" and "City She." How often do you get to design for an entire city?

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Although we have been living in the US for over a decade, my Albanian mother-in-law still makes baklava from scratch every Christmas. One hundred handmade layers of paper thin phylo dough baked with nuts and honey. A labor of love to remind us we are each other's home.


By Mark St. Germain
Music by Randy Courts

NOV 29 - DEC 23, 2012
BUY TICKETS ONLINE or call 1.877.725.8849