Sewing the Show Together

Student Steps Up to Make Costumes

During a community performance, dancers look to the crowd during a scene. “I think costumes play an important role in a performance but they aren’t the whole thing,” junior Belle Rangel said. “You need to have a solid show before adding the costumes in.” The dancer’s skirts were made by senior Katelin Kersten.

Before the One Act season started, senior Katelin Kersten reached out to Mrs. Carole Carraher to work on the costumes for the production. Each year, they rent the costumes from a rental store and they usually need to be altered. In addition to mending the costumes, she also made dancer skirts and a few other items that Mrs. Carraher needed, like a flag. But most of what needed to be done was altering the costumes to fit the actors right.
Before working on One Act costumes, Kersten began sewing in the fourth grade. She learned how to sew by watching videos and putting in practice to get better over the years.
“I mostly sew in my free time, and I have made clothes for myself before,” Kersten said. “This was a new experience for me, though, because I had never worked on costumes, but I really enjoyed it and would totally do it again.”
In the past, they had some of the students’ moms come in and help sew and alter the costumes, but due to COVID-19, they did not allow that this year. It was up to Kersten to get them in good shape and have them performance ready.
“Most of what I did was simple mending and fixes, which didn’t take me very long,” Kersten said. “There was just a lot to do, so I worked on things during pretty much every rehearsal we had.”
All of the fabric and most of the materials were supplied by the school, but Kersten had to bring her own sewing machine. For the dancer’s skirt, she used white fabric and elastic. She used the white fabric to create a channel along the top of the skirt for the elastic to run through. In total she made nine skirts for the dancers, and mended 14 other costumes.
“Costumes make a big impact on the show,” Mrs. Carraher said. “I think this year our costumes are wonderful.”
Each year they rent their costumes from In the Spotlight Costume Shop in Norfolk. After spending weeks of rehearsals preparing for the show and fixing costumes, Kersten was able to see her work in action.
“The most rewarding part was getting to see them on the stage,” Kersten said. “It made me feel accomplished because I had spent a lot of time fixing them and making sure they would look good.”
The One Act performance of “Something Rotten” headed to State with high hopes of winning. Costumes are a big part of a production like this, and Kersten got to see her hard work pay off on the stage. The One Act production went to state and brought back their eleventh consecutive win.