|the king addresses one of his subjects|
Wheatland High School
One year we staged The Mouse that Roared, and instead of renting costumes, I asked my students to design and make costume prototypes, using Barbie and Ken dolls for models. The results were astounding (the boys actually did a better job than the girls at designing and sewing), and we made full-sized costumes from their designs. The king's costume in the photo is one example of their creations.
The fabric for the costumes was salvaged: at the end of the old gymnasium was a stage, and in the storage area under the stage I found huge boxes that contained the old velvet stage curtains (a set of deep blue, and a set of burgundy). I asked permission to cut the curtains to make costumes (yes, much like Maria from the Sound of Music), and during the years I was in Wheatland, we used a LOT of that velvet fabric for costumes and other projects.
Plays staged included: Oklahoma, Godspell, Winnie the Pooh, South Pacific, A Man Called Peter, The Bermuda Triangle, Up the Down Staircase, MASH, Bad Day at Gopher's Breath (a play performed in the school's outdoor courtyard), and many others, including one-act plays.
I collaborated with the music department on all the musicals. Other staff members made up the band for Godspell, and the Industrial Arts department installed the chain link fence for the set. The programs and advertising posters for all the plays were printed in the school's Graphic Arts department. It was fun involving more students and departments in the stage performances.