The UCF Costume Shop began work more than six months before opening night. The crew of faculty and students, including shop supervisor Kyla Kazuschyk, ’03, spent long hours measuring, cutting and sewing to meet their deadline.
To begin crafting the dresses, aprons, coats, corsets and other garments, Kazuschyk and her team referenced hand-colored sketches by designer Jack Smith.
The UCF Costume Shop builds garments and accessories for an average of 12 plays produced by Theatre UCF each season.
Each costume had to be custom fit to the actors, who played up to five characters. Here, Kazuschyk assists M.F.A. student actor Ryan Styles into one of his many garments.
Moving day from the Theatre UCF Costume Shop to Orlando Shakespeare Theater at Orlando's Loch Haven Park was an all-hands-on-deck adventure.
To help the actors learn which garments and elements went with each character, a wall in the rehearsal space was decorated with costume sketches.
Creating the colorful, Victorian-era costumes with specific visual identities was important to help the audience distinguish between the 150 different characters in the play.
Labeling the production's 45 pairs of shoes helped the cast stay organized for costume changes that had to be completed in less than a minute.
In between rehearsals, M.F.A. student actor Quentin Earl Darrington endures a final costume fitting by Orlando Shakespeare Theater costume shop manager Denise Warner.
Darrington played five roles in the production, including a London street cop. "Costumes are the last layer [of building a character],” he says. "It can change your entire performance.”