Costumes integral to shows

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Jacob Schwartz” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]Costumes[/media-credit]

Senior Mary-Emma Searles works on costumes for Theatre Ink producctions after school in 179.

by Fatema Zaidi
Deep in the Theatre Ink area, a room is full of dresses, ranging from black to bright yellow. Shoes line up the shelves and boxes are mounting on top of each other, full to the brim with more clothing. A box of broken needles lies on the desk, waiting to be thrown away.
This room is for the costumes of Theatre Ink. Behind the scenes, seniors  Gabbi Morgenstern, Mary Emma Searles and Gwendolyn Stoll and sophomore Sophie Sokolov manage the design and production of the costumes for all Theatre Ink shows.
“I was a freshman when my friends and I all auditioned for a play,” said Searles. “There was a question on the sheet that asked whether I would like to join crew as a second option. So my friends and I did costumes, and I liked it, so I kept going.”
Stoll’s inspiration was the open house for Theatre Ink her junior year, she said.
“There was an open house, and my friend Parker had to attend since he was a member of the props crew. I followed him along, until I walked over to Costumes. I thought, ‘Well, I like art, and I like sewing.’ So I signed up.”
To start the entire process, costumers “look at the script, think about the time period and the setting and make sure the costume reflects the character’s personality,” said Stoll.
Once the show is underway, the costumers “ensure the costumes don’t clash and keep in contact with the directors to get their opinion,” said Stoll.
A typical day in Costumes varies depending on how close to the show dates they are, according to Searles.
“If we’re far away from a show, then we look at the list of things we need to do. We measure the actors, and if an actor needs a dress or a suit or some clothing to be fixed, we’ll sew it or buy something from the thrift store,” said Searles.
The agenda is different on dates closer to the show, said Stoll.
“If we’re closer to the dates of the show, we tweak the costumes—that might mean hemming the skirts or fixing the the tail of a suit if it keeps getting stuck on the set. Basically anything that needs to be fixed, we fix it,” according to Stoll.
“Costumes is just an extraordinary amount of fun—it’s like a family.”