by Madeleine Munn '19, Communications Intern
As we get closer and closer to the Norfolk Academy Winter production of My Fair Lady, cast and crew are hard at work. My Fair Lady premiered on Broadway in March 1956, and it has been a sensation ever since. In the beloved musical, pompous phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, claims he can transform a Cockney, working-class, flower girl into someone who can pass for a member of high society.
This musical is full of wonderful music, funny characters, and, yes, incredible costumes. While the Norfolk Academy actors have been working on their accents and lines, the costume crew has been working hard behind the scenes. There are 10 students doing costumes this season, led by Meg Murray, and for many of them, it is their first time being part of the costume crew.
Rio Ciuffo ‘20 joined the costume crew because she was originally going to do set but there wasn’t enough room, and she thought it would be fun to learn how to sew. Reagan Bandy ‘24 joined the costume crew because “it seemed like an interesting choice to do in the winter and a different experience than what you experience during sports seasons.” Kate Auerbach ‘24, who has been sewing since she was seven, explains that the costume crew “brings back clothes from being all torn and ragged to being nice and pretty.” Our costume crew works with clothes that have been used in other Norfolk Academy productions and fits them to the current musical.
In many ways, the costume crew is part of the unsung heroes of a production. They work behind the scenes, provide the necessary look that helps the musical transport the audience to a different place and time. Just like any team, being part of the costume crew is an immense learning experience. Ciuffo said that “the best part about being in costumes is that I have learned so many new things, like how to use a sewing machine, sewing free handed, or even how to sew on different types of buttons which can come in handy in my day to day life as well.” What an incredible set of useful skills!
Every member of the costume crew said they are incredibly excited to see their friends and peers wear their work on stage. We should be extremely grateful to our costume crew, and our set design, sound, and lighting teams, for their incredible work behind the scenes.
Get excited for the Norfolk Academy production of My Fair Lady, which opens next week!