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Students recreate ‘Orange’ characters

Emerson student creativity got the approving nod of actor Laverne Cox via Twitter last week, not long after the Orange is the New Black star visited campus for the College’s first Transgender Awareness Week.

“Blown away by this recreation of the @OITNB poster by @EmersonCollege students,” Cox tweeted. “Thanks so much for the photo. I love.”

Laverne Cox Twitter

The students in the impressive photo, an exceptional recreation of the OITNB publicity poster, are Carter Olson ’16, Catherine Collins ’16, Marissa Bickford ’16, Allison Gilman ’16, Kelly Downes ’17, Hannah Latimer-Snell ’17, and Mary Krantz ’16.

The students major in Theatre Studies, Visual and Media Arts, and Journalism.

The photo was shot by Rory McCann ‘13 in a Little Building bathroom.


OITNB students

Emerson students recreate the Orange is the New Black promotional poster (compare below) by taking this photo. (Photo by Rory McCann '13)

OITNB promotional poster

“We realized that we had seven people who really resembled the characters on the show,” Krantz said. “We started talking about how cool it would be to get a group together for Halloween to dress up as the inmates on the show.”

The photo was pulled off before Cox’s campus visit November 4, when she gave a lecture titled, “Ain’t I A Woman,” to speak about her experiences as a transgender woman of color.


Cox autographs

Laverne Cox signs autographs for students after her lecture at Emerson College on November 4. (Photo by Kelsey Davis '14)

“We really wanted to capture the essence of each character as specifically as we could,” Krantz said. “We went pretty in depth to look as close to the characters as we could.”

This included combing the internet to purchase scrubs clothing, and visiting thrift stores to find individual costume pieces, including a chef’s jacket for the character Red and a fake mustache for prison guard George Mendez.


OITNB headshots

Emerson students' headshots next to the characters from Orange is the New Black that they impersonated. (Photos Courtesy of Mary Krantz '16)

“We all had a great time embodying the characters together,” Krantz said. “Seeing the comparison between our photos and the official promo shot was so exciting! We were able to give a copy to Laverne Cox when she came to Emerson, and getting her approval made the whole experience worthwhile.”

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