Arts

The task of creating Nazi uniforms and other World War II period clothing worn by the 17 actors in Good fell to Costume Designer Louise Brown and a team of students—Sam Klein Roche, Happy Platt, and Adriana Hrabowych (all ’19).

Ms. Brown first discussed the vision for the play’s costumes with Drama Teacher Mark Lindberg and Theater Designer and Production Coordinator Eugene Warner.

“We wanted it to look as authentic to the period as we could in terms of costumes,” she said.

The student designers found silhouettes, colors, and garments from the time period to serve as inspiration for the costumes they altered or created from scratch three times a week from 3:30 to 5:30 during the fall athletic season. They outfitted the four actors who played Hitler in traditional German attire—shorts for William Li ’20 and dresses, called dirndls, for Kira Bierly, Alyse Bierly, and Alice O’Neill (all ’19)—and gave the Nazi characters riding breeches. 

Ms. Brown said finding Schutzstaffel uniforms for the actors playing soldiers was particularly difficult.

“I could not find anything to rent, which I still can’t believe,” she said. “I literally contacted every local university and theater company, and we just could not get enough that matched or fit that would work.” 

Three of the uniforms as well as some hats ultimately came from Military Uniform Supply, Inc., a military surplus company, but about 60 percent of the uniforms Ms. Brown bought from Militaria Net, a British company that makes authentic reproductions of World War II uniforms. The designers then tweaked the old stock East German pieces, adding the SS insignia for the period, Ms. Brown said.

Sam said the task of making costumes as historically accurate as possible challenged the costume design team.

“There is a very specific style for the Nazi uniform for the cut of the pants and the shirts,” he said. “The different styles of hats denote different ranks within the Nazi party, so we had to get the historical details nailed in.”

 

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