The suit that landed you the job. The glass slippers that took Cinderella to the ball. The school uniform Matilda wore. The dress you bought for your first date. Every costume tells a story. Whether it’s been made for a theatrical production or put together from the mall, the clothing we wear makes an impression on our audience—whether they’re theatregoers or simply the people in our lives we want to wow. From our hats to our shoes, our costumes can convey moods, demonstrate our character, and even conjure magic.
Many of the costumes you see on our stages are created at The Shop, Center Theatre Group’s prop and costume shop in Boyle Heights. As part of The Shop initiative, which aims to make theatre a part of everyday life, we’ve put up costume displays at libraries around Boyle Heights. We’re excited to be showing off costumes we love that tell some of our stories.
The suit that landed you the job. The glass slippers that took Cinderella to the ball. #EveryCostume tells a story. #CTGcommunity is telling some of ours through displays @losangeleslibrary branches around #BoyleHeights that spotlight the creations of The Shop, the company’s prop and costume shop. Share the stories of your own #costumes on social media with us: tag @CTGLA #EveryCostume. At top, librarians Lupie Leyva & Patty Tarango pose at Robert Louis Stevenson Library; at bottom, librarian Greg Summers poses with two patrons at Benjamin Franklin Library.
At Benjamin Franklin Library (2200 E. 1st St.) you can see a few of the costumes worn in our 2006 production of The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov’s final play, alongside sketches created by the designer that detail everything from the fabric to the buttons and zippers.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making a period piece, head to Malabar Library (2801 Wabash Ave.) and check out costumes from our 2013-2014 production of The Steward of Christendom, which is set in 1930s Ireland. The Shop replicated vintage dresses in order to make sure the costumes could withstand the show’s entire run.
And at Robert Louis Stevenson Library (803 Spence St.), you can see costumes from our 2013 production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Along with the costumes and sketches are swatch ID cards, which help everyone in The Shop stay on the same page about the costume fabric, from where it can be bought and how much it costs to where it goes on that particular clothing item.
Stay tuned for more posts from us that tell the stories behind the costumes you see onstage. To learn more about The Shop, email us at Community@CenterTheatreGroup.org or call 213.972.8028.