An Inside Look at the Costume Crew of ‘Bright Star’

What it's like to be backstage, doing some of the work that may be forgotten: hair, makeup and costumes

March 6, 2023


Sophie Hegyi

Emily Nguyen (9) curls Morgan Feinstein’s(12) hair, who is playing Margo, the main love interest of Billy Cain (played by Logan Honerkamp).

The lights dim, the crowd ends their conversations, settling in their seats. The actors take their places, lighting is waiting for their cue, the curtains pull back, and BAM, the show has started. It’s time for lighting, props, mics and the cast to do their part, but where’d the costumes come from? Who did their makeup? Is there a crew for this, like there is lighting, set and props?

Well, if we rewind a few hours, and go backstage, you’ll find 14 students all applying makeup, doing hair and making sure that the costumes are all perfect, and those 14 students make up the costume crew. A crew that dedicates just as much time as everyone else to design and find costumes that fit each character’s personality. 

“Costumes help show things, like personality, through color and texture,” freshman crew member Keena Boschert said. 

The crew spends their first week or so researching the time period and the characters in order to figure out what would be the best outfit for each individual persona. After gathering that information, they check out the costume closet to see what they have, and based on that, figure out exactly what each actor will be wearing. They might also go to thrift stores in search for more options.

Costume crew isn’t only about makeup and clothes, it’s also about the friendships that are made. Costume crew is a community within a community. The friendships made will last longer than the musical or play ever will.

“I love everyone in the crew. I love getting to see them,” sophomore Clara Walker said.

So here we are, back in the present, watching the actors perform oh so incredibly in their oh so incredible costumes, makeup, and hair; Watching as the outfits they wear make us feel like we really are watching something straight from a movie. 

The Liberty theater’s performances would never be quite complete if not for the costume crew putting in all the time and effort that they do. The authenticity and realism that the crew of 14 creates is unreal, and just seems to show us that not all the talent in the theater department comes from the actors. 

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