Category Archives: entertainment

New Phone Number!

Please take note! We have a new phone number!

We can now be reached at #256-322-6389.

Plase make a note of it in your contact lists.

Thank you for your patience, while we make changes.

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COSTUME SALE!!!

OCTOBER 17th – 28th, we are selling ALL of our rental costumes!!! We had tomake the   decision of whether or not to keep our retail storefront for another year. The numbers and a few ither factors showed it is time to close it. 

We will still be in business, but are moving our costune services and theatrical supplies online. The world is changing and we have to adapt. So, if youcan’t  beat em’ (Amazon) join em’, right? We win’t be joining Amazin anytime soon, we will stick to our own website, and offer unique handmade costumes on Etsy.

   The message today though, we are selling ALL of our costumes! We were super busy the last two days, from open to well past close. So be sure to get there sooner than later!

   We have a ton of great stuff from costumes, hats, accessories, shoes, and more! Egyptians, gorillas, knights, maidens, colonial, victorian, flappers, princesses, India Princesses, Cowboys, sailors, and more! Priced from $5-$300!

We will be in the store this week and next from

Monday through Friday 11-6

Saturdays 10-4

Come by and see us! We would love to see your smiling faces!

Clowns, the good kind!

I have been back in town for a week, and finally have a minute or two to write a post about my trip! Many of you know me as the owner of the costume shop here in town. You may not know that I am also a musician/performer/ and aspiring clown! I write original material including skits, bits, alter egos, folk music and more. I don’t perform as much as I used to because I am usually at the shop (which I love btw)! So this summer I took a trip to Wheelock, Vermont to take a week-long “Pochinko Style Clown” workshop from none other than Donna Sellinger.

Donna

I met Donna several years ago, when she came through town with her theater troupe called “The Missoula Oblongata”. They perform original plays with loads of historically referenced material turned on its head to make a person rethink how they exist in the world. Their sets are made of mostly recycled randomness, and sometimes reclaimed trash all of which fit into the back of a minivan with its 3-5 actors! It’s a wonder to behold! Once when I booked her for a backyard play, it rained. And we had to move the furniture out of our bedroom so they could build the stage in it and fit 24 audience members! It was pure magic, and the best show I have ever witnessed!

Moving on, she is currently a Baltimore based artist, writer, and performer. Normally she teaches a 6 week baby clown workshop. But, this week-long was just a taste of the full length class.

It was held at Wheelock Farm in Wheelock, Vermont. The grounds were beautiful and there was no signal for data in the mountains. It was an incredible property. There were eleven of us students total. We were from Detroit, NYC, D.C., Philadelphia, Connecticut, North Carolina and more. Many of us were already in the arts or performing music, puppetry, clowning, and theater. So it was a really great group! Donna kept the class affordable at $250, so I was able to justify the gas there. I wish I could have paid her so much more for what she taught us! If you have a chance to learn from her, take it!

Here are a few pics.

This was the tent, where we painted, and practised our clowning exercises and critiques.

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Behind the tent was the trail to what we called the “Clowntain”. Most days we made multiple trips up the hill to a gorgeous field to do visualization exercises in.

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I set up my tent down at the beautiful stone round house for sleepers. Below the hill was a pond with a beaver dam, and a creek running by. I was visited twice during the week by what we think was a deer or moose, and maybe a coyote or a bear. The second visit had me screaming and clapping to make “it” go away. I was lucky that Becca and Anissa came to rescue me. No more tent sleeping after that. Though I would have been fine surely.

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There were so many flowers on the property. Everything was dripping in color, and the air was nice and cool! Every morning brought me to the kitchen door to meet, and eat with my fellow clowns and talk about all manner of things. The kitchen was spacious and easily held all of us. we ended most days there with a group dinner, getting to know one another better, learning songs and singing them, drawing, sharing music…

Plus, they had the best maple syrup ever, made fresh on the farm!!!

One of the days we stopped at mid-day to visit Bread and Puppet Theatre. They have an incredible circus, museum, and more. They are famously known for their work in social justice activism and sociopolitical theatre. I have been wanting to visit for a long time and finally had the opportunity. These are photos from their circus, and museum. You can learn more about them at Bread and Puppet.

We watched a puppet performance of the eclipse, though we did pause from class to watch the real eclipse later. All 12 of us took turns using the one pair of eclipse glasses. I was also privileged to participate in Shape Note Sacred Harp singing at The Paper Mache Cathedral one night, and I went with a fellow clown to see a shadow puppet play in the ballroom, about immigration,on another night.

Finally, towards the end of the week, we earned our clown noses, and chose our costumes for our final “Something Fantastic” scene. Everyone delivered an amazing scene, some of us chose to do it twice. With our costumes and noses they were even more fantastic!

I was really sad to leave, but many of us will stay in touch, and hope to work together in the future. I ended up staying an extra day to help Marie with her broken car. we spent the morning in town and having breakfast at the Hardwick Food Co-op restaurant. we drove around the countryside a bit to drop her at the auto shop, had a coffee and pastry at a theatre there and then I hit the Museum of Everyday Life on my way out of the mountains. The museum was the perfect ending.

Finally my trip was over, except for the 21 hour drive home. But, I took my time on the way home, so it was a lazy 41 hour drive. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Thanks a million Donna!

 

 

 

Coming out of the woods!

This weekend is the last weekend to see Huntsville Community Chorus”s youth production of “Into the Woods”! Earlier in the spring HCCA hired me to design, and style costumes for their production. I was able to pull in UAH student Kaylie Miller to design Little Red Riding Hood, and the Witches cape. Kaylie is an intern at Fig Leaf Costumes, she is mainly a Theatre major and Business admin minor in her Senior year there.

We researched the costumes, color theory, and textures of fabrics for each character to set the visual tone of the play. Once this was done a student costumer Leah Purves, and her assistant Sharon Purves took over the costume construction part. They did a beautiful job organizing, altering, and construction costumes for the cast. It really is a beautiful show.

We were able to see the show last week. Local photographer Jeff White shot the play from head to golden toes. All show photographs below are photographed by him. enjoy the photographs, and costume sketches below, but to get the full effect, go see the show!

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Character Appearances!

We are currently booking character appearances for summer events. Our actors will come out as a costumed character for one hour to meet and greet guests & pose for photos! The cost $150 for the first hour, and $75 for each additional hour.  Call to book one for your event. #256-270-7486.IMG_2589IMG_2584IMG_2568IMG_2582IMG_2599IMG_2596

Feeling Royal!

This month we designed and sewed a dress for Amanda Chapman in Tuscumbia. Anyone unfamiliar with her can find her 31 faces of Halloween posts HERE!  She is an incredible photographer, yet she dabbles in FX makeup like a goddess!

Recently she was selected as one of the top 30 artists for the NYX Face Challenge! The first challenge is royalty. Amanda asked if we had any royal dresses. we do of course! But, we decided to make her something special. Below are some process shots of making the dress week before last. But you can see the finished product in her challenge video.

We hope you love her look. If you do help her to the next round by voting and sharing. You can vote up to 3 times a day if you want. Enjoy!

Showtime!

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!

Sincerely, Figgie