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Behind the Curtain ~ Beauty and the Beast

1st editions of faculty spotlights highlighting faculty that volunteered to help make the musical spectacular!


~The Costume Enchantress~

Ms. Slingerland


Costume Day
Picture By Mrs. Byers

There are many things that go into putting on a musical—the blocking, choreography, vocals, lights, make-up, and much more. But a show would be nothing without one thing-the costumes. Without costumes, the show loses the effect of taking the audience away to another time or place. Costumes are one thing that can make or break a show, and this year’s musical Beauty and the Beast is no exception. This year, the costumes were rented from a company in California, and let's just say, when the cast first got the costumes many were pretty un-enchanting. Enter Ms. Slingerland, Greenwood’s current Family, and Consumer Sciences teacher.


Ms. Slingerland has been helping the theater department with costuming for many years. Sometimes, like this year, the costuming can be a challenge. One may lose the motivation to continue to do this year after year. Not Ms. Slingerland. As she stated in an interview with her, “my motivation comes from several places. It is fun to work with the students and create something wonderful.” As a musical student, I can attest that it is just as fun as she describes working with her to put all the costuming together and see the final product. Ms. Slingerland is also motivated by the [creative] aspect of costume designs. “Working with props and costumes allows me to use my creativity and my talents in a different way…working with a team to create a vision and then make it happen is invigorating.”

Costume Day
Picture By Mrs. Byers


As I stated earlier, this year's costumes were a challenge. “The condition in which [the costumes] arrived was less than to be desired.” Doing a show this size can be stressful in itself, but add in sub-par costumes and stress levels go through the roof. “There were many fixes, repairs, alterations, etc. that kept me busy [every day] for weeks.” Ms. Slingerland estimated that she spent 35 hours a week for about four to five weeks, outside of the time she spent teaching her various classes. This didn’t change Ms. Slingerlands' mood towards helping out though, “Volunteering for a production is a labor of love.” I speak for all of the cast when I say that we are so glad that she loves helping out!


Costume Day
Picture By Mrs. Byers

I asked Ms. Slingerland to think about all the shows she has helped with in the past and decide what she thought was the most challenging costume she has ever made. She said that “it would have to be the bustled gown I made for Hello Dolly. It was very challenging [and it] took about 60 hours of sewing.” I also asked her what she thought was her most difficult costume to work with this year. “The utensils because they would not stay put! Or the beast-not so much the costume as the transition. [We] took the Beast from Beast to human in just over a minute with six people all help.” I agree with that sentiment! The transition was definitely one of the most stressful and difficult things that I took part in for this show.


I, along with the cast and directing staff have a great deal of gratitude for Ms. Slingerland. I can’t imagine what our show and costumes would be like without the help of Ms. Slingerlands’ expertise. For all the hours spent poured into helping make this year show what it was, she deserves more thanks than what one article can give!



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