Jeff Haney attended a workshop on costume design this year with some of his students and learned a lot about helping students problem solve and work through issues. Here is his reflection!
This is the first fitting of the gown. We spent three hours at this first fitting. The designer shared how she would go about moving the boning in the bodice to fit and how we would move from a very long sergered hem to one of a blind hem.
She spent time sharing how to move from the sergered hem to the blind. It was the first time I had a designer/costumer spend the time to make this process understandable. The students on the costume crew learned a great deal that day that they were able to move to the gowns that were to be hemmed for the "king's wives".
This is the gown on the first day of fitting. The designer added the metal hoop. The costume crew had the opportunity to learn how the mechanics of this thirty pound hoop would work with the silk gown and how they would dress and undress the actress in the 3 minute time frame.
The designer taught us how to go from the white dress used in the prior scene. They practiced with the designer's guidance how to move from the full white dress...remove shoes, dress, and prep the ball gown (two parts), add the metal hoop, earrings, necklace, long gloves and bracelet in the 3 minutes and without talking.
The crew learned how to be prepped for the fast costume change and to do it without throwing the actress off of her energy for the next scene. It was really impressive to see how we would move all of the pieces without talking...the designer taught them so much about non-verbals, prep for the actress, moving through the process without any real issue.
They had learned this change so well that we did it again for the curtain call. The crew felt they could move her from the black mourning dress to the ball gown again...and they did!
This is the final fitting of the ball gown. The process of getting the soft, hidden hem is worth noticing. This is a skill that was we were very interesting in learning to accomplish. Also the train was vital for the "Shall We Dance" number. The designer added a thirty pound metal hoop in order for the dress to move as it should and maintain its shape. The dressers had the opportunity to learn how to best work with the 3 minutes costume change moving from a plastic boned hoop skirt to this heavy hoop.
We were able to fully appreciated the process of getting the original design to fit the actress. It is worth noting that the actress was losing weight through the last two weeks which give us the opportunity to refit the bodice of the dress three times. We had the opportunity to learn from the designer how to refit the boning in the dress as the actress was changing sizes
After working with an outside source (community outreach) and experiencing the value of adding a professional element to the high school theatre world we have found the following reflections:
Students grow both in the real-world interaction and in the appreciation of what we do is valuable as a workplace job skill. We will continue to have this interaction in future productions in order to use this enlightenment as part of the growth in value of the classroom outcomes.
Students are highly motivated to impress and do their best work when a professional is both teaching and evaluating their work. The students appear to appreciate the professional for both their expertise and high expectations. A continuation of this relationship is highly valuable in making the classroom outcomes more meaningful and to add to the level of expectation for their work on the productions.
The following production there was a strong carryover of the skills taught by the professional. I observed their demand for high expectations for their work continued without the professional.
Post by: Jeff Haney | High School Theatre Teacher
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud