My senior year of college, I carried more than a full load of classes each semester and was in two full production plays along with some smaller scale productions. The fall semester Children’s Theater production was actually two plays in one. The first half was Rip Van Winkle and the second was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We had a cast of twenty-five. The theater department had a full costume for Ichabod, but most of the rest of the cast needed to have costumes made for them.I was the only one in the entire theater department that had any experience sewing, so I was the “Costume Department”. For the week leading up to the beginning of our performances, this is how my day went. 7:00 Wake up, Class, Sew, Class, Sew, Lunch (sometimes), Class, Sew, Dinner, Sew, Practice 7:00-11:00, Sew until 1:00 am. Everyday. I measured everyone, cut patterns (most were made up), and mended older costume pieces that didn’t fit or were torn. I churned out pants, shirts, skirts, and props. In addition to all that sewing, I also helped with the set construction and helped choreograph a dance scene.
My workspace (hallway, sweatshop, prop closet, – whatever you want to call it) had to hold just about everything that was to be prepared for the play; including some hay bales – Fresh from the farm hay bales – with the spiders that lived in them. I hate spiders. I really hate spiders. These things would crawl up to the ceiling (I have no idea why) and jump down on my fabric, table, or head. Gah. I hate spiders. At one point, I think I counted over 40 visible spiders. This led to bug spray, large amounts of bug spray, in my poorly ventilated hallway. Luckily for me, I got to knock off early that night.
We had 3 performances our Opening day, followed by 3 the next, and one the night after that. Each performance had its memorable moments and I was given special recognition in the programs for all the work I did.