The spring season for shows is in full swing! I have been to some wonderful shows in the last month! Huntsville City Schools are really raising the bar on performance, costumes, and theatrical makeup! Backstage was full of parent volunteers, students, and sometimes parents from another school or theatre group. If you have a chance, please get out to see as many school shows as you can, it is a wonderful way to support our hardworking students, teachers, and parents, and an even better way to grow our community.
I LOVE backstage! I always wanted to perform regularly, but the butterflies in my stomach had other plans. So, I ended up on the tech side of things. In sixth grade after a terrifying role as a silent mouse in AAA’s first production ever (Winnie the Pooh 1984), I became a stagecraft member. Ms. Deborah Fleischman found out I knew how to sew and put me to work on costumes. Although it was before clowns existed, we had plenty to learn in class. I learned alot in her classes and still use those skills today.
One of the things I love about backstage is the hive mind mentality. There are a ton of worker bees dressed in stage black pulling a show together in one seamless movement! Of course the goal is to make every transition apparently seamless, while trouble shooting missed cues, costume fails, makeup touch ups, and more. But when it all comes together, and you have that perfect show where everyone got it right its pure magic!
The Fig has been growing and I find that we are shifting into more independent, school, local, and regional theatre productions. Our focus has been on helping Thespians better their craft through costumes, design, and theatrical makeup techniques and product. We are offering design services and will be starting to produce costume rentals for entire shows ( in addition to keeping our individual rentals). Theatre is on the rise in Huntsville and we intend to shift with it in order to meet the needs of productions.
I recently designed, and stitched costumes for Pinocchio. Pinocchio is a production of Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre. The actors are using an original script; Peter-John Sligting, Schuyler Howie, & Penny Ewing, based on the Story by Carlo Collodi. Local Thespians and Fantasy students wrote the script to be performed at Fantasy ten years ago. Back then Kevin O’Brien and Sarah Brown were cast as Fox and Cat. Now they are co-directing it with modest changes made. If you have the chance to see it there are tickets available PINOCCHIO TICKETS HERE!
The photographs on stage of dress rehearsal are by Jeff White Photography. . all backstage, and candid photos are by Fig Leaf Costumes. Jeff White is also for hire to photograph weddings, individual photos, head shots and more.
I also went to see Beauty and the Beast. This was Grissom High School’s very last show in the theater. Lydia Palmes did a fantastic job with loads of talent and help available to make a fantastical, magical show. All I can say is, I WILL NEVER miss another Grissom show again! They will start fresh in their new school theatre this fall. I tried to take a lot of photos, but all of the kids were crying out of joy and sadness, so it was hard to capture a dry moment. I look forward to all of the wonderful work to come! Great job Grissom Theatre! The costumes and makeup were so fun!
I was also able to see The Little Mermaid at Huntsville High School. Meghan Thompson did an incredible job. I believe there were 148 actors! They had wheelies, hover boards, and so many amazing costumes! The tail to legs scene was very clever wire work with a super quick change. The transitions were sop smooth it was almost as if there weren’t any. I was able to sit behind the sound board, and I loved seeing the students do all of the tech work. They really knocked it out of the park. The makeup was by Wynn Oldham, a Huntsville staple, when it comes to stage makeup. She invited me backstage to see the chaos, and we were able to watch much of the show together. The Auditorium was packed to the gills, which made for a lively, exciting show. And lastly, Scuttle really worked the crowd, the stage, the costume, the makeup, and the air with his flying on a wire. Great show!
Lastly, Faustus was a great show too! It was more adult in nature, but a much-needed classic. It was nice to help on a show that Huntsville doesn’t get to see very often. I advised UAH student, and lead costumer Kaylie Miller. She had a great concept for 1500’s Germany, and 68 costumes to source or stitch. It was a pleasure to help her costume the show. We hope you enjoyed the richness of the set, set dressing, lighting, and costumes as the tech team worked to create an antique look. The following stage photographs are also by Jeff White Photography, all candids are by Fig Leaf Costumes. UAH now offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Maybe you know someone who wants to major in theatre. Now they can do it in Huntsville! Check out their page HERE!
We look forward to what May has in store for us. We will do our best to bring something wonderful to the stage for you. have a great week!