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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Re: Is it Just Me?

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  • Julia Trimarco
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 26, 2006
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      <<<Certainly situations that end up with 'unsupervised kids', in
      costume for long periods of time, suggests to me some issues with planning.
      This planning issue may NOT be the job of the costumer, but the Producer /
      Stage Manager or ???>>>

      I have worked as a Union dresser on several different productions that included massive amounts of children (The Wizard of Oz, The Nutcracker). And there are a few essential rules that may be brought up in a planning or production meeting with your company for next time, if there is one. Even a financially strapped community company can usually find a way to make this happen with volunteers.
      1) You need KID WRANGLERS. Adults whose SOLE responsibility for the duration of the rehearal process is to watch these kids. And no, it cannot be just their parents. Parents are too focused on their own kid to watch the others. And they often put the demands of their own offspring above the needs of the production. So, you need a few adults to watch, see that show cues are given and followed, to escort the kids to the stage, etc. Often these wranglers come from the Stage Management staff, sometimes they come as volunteers.
      2) The children should not be getting their costumes on any earlier than is absolutely necessary. So if they do not appear onstage until Act 2, they shouldn't even be anywhere near the backstage/dressing room area until the Act 1 curtain goes up.

      When I dressed the Nutcracker, many Mom's volunteered to help. But it took a Coordinator to oversee everything and to "be the bad guy" with enforcing rules, like no eating in costume. In addition, a few dressers were there, and our function was to call the groups of dancers to the costume racks at a pre-determined time before they had to be on stage, to come take their costume and put it on. The costumes stayed out of the room until they needed them, and they took them off as soon as they returned from stage. For this to work, however, the kids need to bring a robe and slippers to wear in the meantime.


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