Behind the Scenes: Costume Designer
Take a look behind the scenes into the role and responsibilities of being a theatre costume designer!
What is your name?
Where are you from?
I was born in Sandusky, Ohio, but raised in sunny Naples, Florida.
What made you want to becoming a theatre costume designer?
When my daughter was about two years old, the theatre bug bit me again and I felt the need to get back into the field in some capacity. I found a local children's theatre, Sol Children's Theatre in Boca Raton, FL, and asked about becoming involved. Although my 1st major in college was lighting design for the stage, I decided to stretch my wings and dive into costuming.
What are some of the challenges of costume designing a theatrical production?
Since I do the majority of my sewing from my home in Oelwein, a challenge is making sure everything fits properly. It's easily fixed with a drive down to Amana for fittings, though. Working my schedule around those of the actors can also be a challenge seeing how busy each of them are in every aspect of theatre here at the Creamery. Well, all of that AND the occasional odd costume like a stalk of celery or a Headless Horseman: things for which there are no patterns and it's all up to my imagination to take what I see in my head and turn it into a functioning costume.
What are some of your favorite parts of costume designing for theatre?
As challenging as they are, I really DO like the oddball costumes. It makes me stretch my mind! Figuring out how to make a pig's tail curly without a wire, how a quick-change can happen, and collaborating with the other artists on logistics is both exciting and fun. It's also funny when I make my poor, enduring husband try on my creations at home to make sure they work the way they're supposed to.
How long have you been costume designing for theatre?
Compared to some others here at the old Creamery, I am still a fledgling, having only worked in the field for about five years.
Have you ever acted in a performance yourself?
I performed on stage in both high school and college (much to the chagrin of my tech professor). While I would love to tread the boards again, commuting six days a week from Oelwein would kill me, and moving to Amana isn't presently an option. Someday, maybe!
What do you like to do besides costume designing and sewing?
In my free time, I enjoy being a wife to my darling husband of 14 years, mother to our 13-year-old daughter, reading books I can share with my family, spontaneous adventures, playing with our five fur babies, and volunteering at our church.