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By Brian Robin

Fun Facts from the Costume Shop

Admit it. The costumes in SCR’s productions have taken your breath away. And those garments are created by the talented artisans who work in the SCR Costume Shop. Over the next few weeks, we’re talking you behind the scenes to learn more about what goes into making the theatre you love to watch.

Here are some fun facts about the SCR Costume Shop:

  • There are more than 120,000 hanging pieces of clothing in SCR’s storage. This does not include hats, shoes, boxes of costumes or accessories.
  • It takes roughly three weeks to build costumes for a Segerstrom Stage, Julianne Argyros Stage or Theatre for Young Audiences and Families production. Costume designers begin discussing initial design ideas with the director as much as five months before opening night.
  • Depending on the time period, one woman’s gown (not including underpinnings) may take from 40-to-60 hours to create.
  • Some of the more unusual pieces included in SCR’s inventory are body suits for fat padding, a three-tiered birthday cake hat, a real buffalo hide, a pair of pants made entirely of zippers, gold leather men’s underpants and a leopard-print bicorn hat.
  • There are a few costume pieces from the first season of A Christmas Carol(1980) still in use! Costume Shop Manager Amy Hutto said even more original pieces remain in stock, but have been retired from the current production.
  • When a show closes, any costume pieces that can be re-used are stored for future use.

About the author

South Coast Repertory

South Coast Repertory is a Tony Award-winning theatre is known for producing classics, contemporary hits and world premieres, for having the largest new-play development program in the nation and for advancing the art of theatre in service to the community. 

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