Putting it Together, by David I.L. Poole

 (Read the first part of my design process here!)

      So did my design of the ape costume meet approval?  Yes, it did!  Artistic Director Kelie Miley loved it!

     The next phase of design is the actual implementation, which is where things can become a little tricky.  Transferring the costume from a drawing to the finished product is a process called “draping.”  Draping is a method of dressmaking in which fabric is pinned and hung on a mannequin form in order to create a pattern.  This is usually done with inexpensive fabric, like muslin, so there is no real loss if a mistake occurs.  This process is done with much trial and error, and there may be many drapings depending on the complexities of the garment.  Once a pattern is determined from the draping, then more expensive materials can be cut and sewn into a finished costume.

Draping and pinning one of 28 ape costumes!

Draping and pinning one of 28 ape costumes!

      One of the exciting materials being used is coming all the way from Hawaii!  We ordered traditional Tahitian bark skirts in a variety of colors.  These will be deconstructed and sewn onto the edges of the ape costumes to give a full fur look without it using actual fur, which is very expensive, heavy, and difficult to maintain.   The Tahitian bark will be used on principal characters, while we are using raffia that has been painted and dyed to costume members of the ape ensemble.  With 28 apes to costume, we aren’t just talking about small quantities here; we’re talking loads and loads of material!

A sea of raffia!

A sea of raffia, divided into baskets for each performer.

     After settling on the designs for the apes, the director also asked that I design tropical flower costumes that could bloom on stage, and a hybrid butterfly/puppet costume for some of the featured dancers.  I love these opportunities to create fantastical creatures!  That is why I love to volunteer at the Savannah Children’s Theatre where I have a place to let my imagination soar.

     Thanks to our army of volunteers, including Karen Clark, Pam Edenfield, Chann Givens,  Bonnie Juengert, and Marcia Karp, we are making quick progress.  Main Stage productions are a team effort, and our volunteers are the best in town!  We talk and laugh, sew and hot glue.  Spending time with these creative, talented minds makes the work go by so quickly.

     If you haven’t reserved your seats yet for TARZAN, do it now! Tickets are available on our website, or by calling the box office at 912.238.9015.  The next post you’ll see from me will show the finished product.  But trust me, you’ll want to see it on stage and in action!

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Now and Then, by Carmel Grace Cowart

_____Six years ago, I accepted Kelie Miley’s offer to be her Assistant Director for SCT’s Creative Dramatics I class production of Tiny Thumbelina. Little did I know that that experience was going to radically change my life, for good!

Grace Repella and Anna Schneider in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Grace Repella and Anna Schneider in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____At the time, I was in college finishing my theatre degree and had plans to move across the country to pursue a career in performing arts ministry. However, God had a different plan for me. During that twelve-week class at SCT, I discovered my true passion was not performing (although it is still very near and dear to my heart), but directing children and enabling them to perform!

Julia Hameed, Emma Byrd, Emily Self, Emma Hoffman in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Julia Hameed, Emma Byrd, Emily Self, Emma Hoffman in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____I distinctly remember the immense feeling of JOY I felt on opening night! The kids were simply beaming with pride and excitement, proud of what they’d done. I was also smiling, for I was so very proud of them. I couldn’t stop thinking, Wow! I can’t believe I got to do this. I had a part in helping these kids achieve something wonderful, and look at how much joy it’s brought them! This is where I’m meant to be!

Andy Paul, Kate Daly, Grayson Parsons in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

Andy Paul, Kate Daly, Grayson Parsons in Tiny Thumbelina, 2008

_____Six years, dozens of class shows, hundreds of talented children, and much glitter later, I am still directing our CD1 class, and love every minute of it! Teaching classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays are the highlights of my week because every class I get to experience that same joy as the students creatively discover and use their many talents.

_____This year, you’ll be able to see several of the kids pictured above in our December production of Godspell. They began in CD1, graduated to CD2, and have now moved on to our highest level class, Junior Company. The talents they discovered in my class in 2008 continue to be cultivated by the rest of our amazing theatre team. It has been a privilege to watch them grow and to know that I have been a part of their artistic journeys.

_____I am especially excited about this year’s CD1 Fall show because we are revisiting the wonderful tale of Tiny Thumbelina. It’s a story of love, adventure, and discovering where you belong. I’m so thankful that for me, that place is Savannah Children’s Theatre.

 

Carmel & Morgan

Ms. Carmel & Morgan Jane Anderson, Tiny Thumbelina, 2008