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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

March 29, 2008

Backstage at Great Tuna: 2 Actors, 42 Costume Changes, 4 Dressers

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 1:44 pm

When you hear the word “dresser” in the theatre you might think of a pampered actor backstage who is too lazy to dress himself but that’s far from the true role of a theatrical dresser. Usually they’re there to help with lightning quick changes  and in the case of Greater Tuna, there are dozens of  lightning quick  changes.  Veteran actors Brian Bogstad and Vic Clark have 42 costume changes and if they had to dress themselves each performance of Greater Tuna might be eight hours long!   
With the help of our four amazing dressers, the costume changes in Greater Tuna take place almost within the blink of an eye, some taking place in only 10-20 seconds!   To accomplish this, the actors and their dressers have been rehearsing each costume change, over and over for the past week.   Backstage the Greater Tuna dressers  look like a polished  Nascar pit crew at work — calm, precise, efficient and FAST!   
This amazing backstage costume crew is led by Charleston Stage Costume Assistant  Erin Cary who joins TheatreWings High School apprentice Taylor Wentworth as the dressers for actor Brian Bogstad.     Here they are getting Brian into his outfit for Didi Snavely who runs Didi’s Used Weapons in Tuna, Texas. 


  On the other side of the stage are TheatreWings High School Apprentices Aidan White and Jake Pensmith, dressers for actor Victor Clark.   Here they help him into his Act Two Sheriff duds.


 Audiences won’t get to see the drama going backstage but that’s part of the magic of the theatre, magic that in this case, wouldn’t happen without the skill and hard work of our terrific dressers on this show.  Our (cowboy) hats are off to you.


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