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Wardrobe stitches musical together

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Ilka Megee, theater education sophomore, puts her makeup on before going on first run-through. Megee portays “Hope” in the musical as one of her characters in Urinetown. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.

An actor’s costume provides support physically and emotionally, to actor and audience alike. The wardrobe team has the pressure of enhancing the entire experience by providing strong visual support to the story. The wardrobe team conquered the task of clothing the variety of captivating characters featured in “Urinetown: The Musical.” Some characters wear clothing of the wealthy, some characters wear clothing of the poor, but all costumes are styled in a 1950s steampunk fashion.

Elizabeth Lewandowski, theater department chair, is the woman behind the wardrobe magic. Lewandowski described the wardrobe for “Urinetown” as “half grungy, half sophisticated.”

The wardrobe team met obstacles early on when Lewandowski suffered from a broken leg earlier in the semester. Due to Lewandowski’s medical leave, wardrobe was put behind schedule. When Lewandowski returned, she had to continue clothing characters from her wheelchair.

However, the usual costume room is located in the upstairs of Fain and is not wheelchair accessible.

“It’s the first time I haven’t been able to go up there, so I have a tiny costume room in the old Wichitan office (Fain B105),” Lewandowski said.

Covered in boxes from Amazon and racks of Goodwill coats, the small office housed countless fittings and served as the order and delivery station for costume pieces from online.

Lewandowski scoured the corners of the internet to find every item necessary for an accurate and ideal wardrobe.

“It feels like Christmas every time we get packages,” she said.

Lewandowski said she never became discouraged if an order arrived with something that didn’t work. “If it doesn’t work I just send it back,” she said.

Although some items of wardrobe have been donated or already exist in the costume room, Lewandowski said she uses the department’s Amazon Prime account more than anything. “Amazon is usually cheaper than Walmart and often ships next day,” she said.

Lewandowski was pleased to find even the most particular items such as a steampunk style guns with battery powered, flashing lights for the police officers’ uniforms.

Kaylor Winter-Roach, a theater major and senior, is the costume manager of “Urinetown.” Winter-Roach said a lot of their pieces came from places like Goodwill. “The resale stuff was real deal,” she said. She added that the department receives a tax exemption on purchases, making every purchase of the department slightly on sale in a way.

Although online shopping and the resourceful use of the Wichitan’s retired office helped Lewandowski to continue clothing the cast tirelessly, operating from a wheelchair occasionally caused unforeseeable trouble.

Lewandowski said, “I was using the iron and the cord got caught on the wheel on my chair.”

Lewandowski said this resulted in the iron falling from the ironing board to the floor, grazing her arm along the way.

“I didn’t even realize my arm was burned because I was freaking out about the hot iron laying face-down on the carpet,” she said.

Finishing collecting all of the wardrobe for more than 28 costumes took the costume team three weeks. “Finding all the cloths was a long process,” Winter-Roach said.

What the wardrobe team can’t buy, they modify. Most of the clothes were modified for the characters from impoverished backgrounds. To create that precise peed-on beggared look, the costumes underwent construction by deconstruction in a process of bleaching, dyeing, oiling and distressing the cloth.

First the clothes were given a bleach bath to remove remaining color. Next the clothes were dyed with a combination of yellow dye, salt and boiling water. This turned the cloth from dingy white to 3-year-old’s bedsheet. Winter-Roach said the trick to dyeing the cloth is “to give it the hint of pee but not exactly that color-color.”

After the cloth reached the optimal color of pee, the wardrobe team destroyed the costumes further by ruining hems and applying shoe polish to look like dirt.  The crew then shredded the costumes with a cheese grater to complete the pee- and poverty-stricken look.

Alyssa Angelo, theater freshman, is on the makeup team but also helps with wardrobe. She said, “on the poor costumes we generally make it look like they’d been the only things they’ve had to wear for a good 20 to 30 years.” Winter-Roach said, “the best part of making [the costumes] was making them look old. That was the most fun.”

After the journey, the costume department felt the rewards of the dedication to detail. Angelo said it was important to, “focus on embodying the spirit and attitude of the characters in the play and not let our own feelings about what we think they should look like affect their costumes.”

The wardrobe came together in perfect harmony when it came time for the first dress rehearsal.

Winter-Roach said, “Seeing the costumes come alive made the work we did worth it. After a while working on a show you get tired of seeing the clothes so seeing it up and running is just so great. It’s also fun to see characters come alive with their costumes.”

Costume crew:

  • Kaylor Winter-Roach, costume studio manager
  • Charles Grisson
  • Jordan Logan
  • Keyanna Jones
  • Clay Tabor

 

 

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Urinetown costumes

Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Nicole Smalls is helped by Kaylor Winter-Roach to put on her wrist leather bands on Jan. 16, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Nicole Smalls is helped by Kaylor Winter-Roach to put on her wrist leather bands on Jan. 16, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Jordan Logan prepares the sewing machine threads in preparation for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Jordan Logan prepares the sewing machine threads in preparation for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Jordan Logan prepares the sewing machine threads in preparation for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Jordan Logan prepares the sewing machine threads in preparation for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Julia Lucas cuts fabric in preparatoion for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Julia Lucas cuts fabric in preparatoion for "Urinetown" on Feb. 16 Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Sam Mitchell gets fitted for his costume as a cop in Urinetown on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Sam Mitchell gets fitted for his costume as a cop in Urinetown on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 16. Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 16. Photo by: Leo Gonzales
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 14. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 14. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Student worker Kaylor Winter-Roach, and Elizabeth Lewandowski discusing Addrian Gaut's pants for actors on Thursday, Feb 8, 2018. Photo by Leonardo Gonzalez.
Student worker Kaylor Winter-Roach, and Elizabeth Lewandowski discusing Addrian Gaut's pants for actors on Thursday, Feb 8, 2018. Photo by Leonardo Gonzalez.
Chris Cruz tries shoes on for his role on Urinetown on Jan. 7, 2018.
Chris Cruz tries shoes on for his role on Urinetown on Jan. 7, 2018.
The aftermath of yellow rinsing of clothes to look like "urine" for the poor people on Thursday, Feb 8, 2018. Photo by: Leonardo Gonzalez.
The aftermath of yellow rinsing of clothes to look like "urine" for the poor people on Thursday, Feb 8, 2018. Photo by: Leonardo Gonzalez.
Clay Tabor laces his boots on to see if they fit for the Midwestern State Prodcution of Urinetown. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Clay Tabor laces his boots on to see if they fit for the Midwestern State Prodcution of Urinetown. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Avery Whaite asking what these goggles are for on Jan. 15, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez
Avery Whaite asking what these goggles are for on Jan. 15, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Feb. 14 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Feb. 14 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Feb. 14 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Feb. 14 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 14. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell tries on shoes for his costume of "Bobby" at the final fittings on Febraury 14. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Sam Mitchell gets fitted for his costume as a cop in Urinetown on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Sam Mitchell gets fitted for his costume as a cop in Urinetown on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Nicole Smalls getting her bandana tied by Kaylor WInter-Roach for one of her characters on Urinetown on Feb. 8, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Nicole Smalls getting her bandana tied by Kaylor WInter-Roach for one of her characters on Urinetown on Feb. 8, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach distressing a dress on a grater to later yellow-rinse on January 16, 2018. Photo by Leo Gonzalez.
Kaylor Winter-Roach prepares the costume calendar for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach prepares the costume calendar for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach sizes Sam Mitchell for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach sizes Sam Mitchell for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach sizes Sam Mitchell for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach sizes Sam Mitchell for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach and Jordan Logan at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Natalie Cook and Kaylor Winter-Roach at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Natalie Cook and Kaylor Winter-Roach at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Natalie Cook and Kaylor Winter-Roach at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Natalie Cook and Kaylor Winter-Roach at rehearsal for the Midwestern State University production of Urinetown. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach grabs a belt for Shannon Howerton who played Mr. Cladwell in "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach grabs a belt for Shannon Howerton who played Mr. Cladwell in "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Theater department chair Elizabeth Lewandowski plays with a prop for "Urinetown" Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas tries on shoes work handed to her by Clay Tabor for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas tries on shoes work handed to her by Clay Tabor for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas tries on shoes work on sizing cast members for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Julia Lucas tries on shoes work on sizing cast members for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jullia Lucas sizes Carl Marshall work on sizing cast members for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jullia Lucas sizes Carl Marshall work on sizing cast members for "Urinetown," Jan. 26. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski tightens a bracelet on mass communications sophomore, Sam Mitchell on Feb. 14 at the final fittings for Urinetown. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Elizabeth Lewandowski tightens a bracelet on mass communications sophomore, Sam Mitchell on Feb. 14 at the final fittings for Urinetown. Photo by: Avery Whaite
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Elizabeth Lewandowski helps fit costumes with Kaylor Winter-Roach in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ellanor Collins tries on her police officer's hat in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ellanor Collins tries on her police officer's hat in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kaylor Winter-Roach works with cast members and their costumes in preparation for "Urinetown" that opens Feb. 22 at Midwestern State University. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone puts on his police officer costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone puts on his police officer costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone puts on his police officer costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone puts on his police officer costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kendall Jones puts on his Senator Fipp costume before the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone helps Dean Hart get ready for the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Jon Stone helps Dean Hart get ready for the first dress rehearsal of "Urinetown," Feb. 18. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Nicole Smalls getting her bandana tied by Kaylor Winter-Roach for one of her characters at pre-show Urinetown on February 18, 2018 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Nicole Smalls getting her bandana tied by Kaylor Winter-Roach for one of her characters at pre-show Urinetown on February 18, 2018 Photo by: Avery Whaite
Ilka Megee, theater education sophomore, putting her makeup on before going on first run-through. Megee portays "Hope" in the play as one of her characters in Urinetown. Feb. 19, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.
Ilka Megee, theater education sophomore, putting her makeup on before going on first run-through. Megee portays "Hope" in the play as one of her characters in Urinetown. Feb. 19, 2018. Photo by: Leo Gonzalez.

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Wardrobe stitches musical together