Dordt College News

Fairytale costumes for Dordt Theatre production

October 6, 2005

Sue Blom believes in fairy tales.

As costume designer/seamstress for Dordt College, she’s been living her fantasy, creating fabulous costumes for fairytale characters in the Dordt Theatre production, Into the Woods, which will be presented at the Te Paske Theatre Oct. 20-29.

“It’s been a ball,” says Blom, who has created a princess production on a pauper’s budget thanks to a donation made recently by a local seamstress. Arta Zevenbergen, Sioux Center, is the woman who’s making it all happen. After 30+ years as a bridal wear seamstress, Zevenbergen decided to retire last year. Costumes

Her problem: a basement was filled with fabric and remnants from about 2,500 weddings and proms sewn for over the years.

The solution: she donated it all to Dordt College’s Costume Shop. Silk, satin, taffeta and trim, Zevenbergen donated about three carloads of fabric and notions to the costume shop. The donation consisted of about 1500 yards of fabric, 195 patterns, lace and trim, shelving and a bonus 47 pairs of shoes.

“It’s just fabulous!” raved Sue Blom, who said the whole look of this fall’s production is based on the donated fabric. “The silk and satin in rich colors of purple and blue and green are perfect for costuming the fairy tale characters in this production,” says Blom, who along with nine workstudy students has been busy sewing about 50 extravagant costumes for the production. “Thanks to the donated materials, we’ve been able to do more with shoes, wigs, make-up and props,” remarked Blom, who is currently busy figuring out how to sew a giant beanstalk that grows.

“Wow, it kills me!” said Arta on seeing the ostentatious royal stage costumes created out of 60 yards of leftover choir robe fabric for Unity High School. “It’s very interesting, totally different work than what I used to do.” Blom commented that as a theater seamstress, she tries to create visual cues for each character with their costumes. She began sketching costumes during the summer, then altered patterns as needed, constructing the costume specifically to fit the Dordt student cast in a part.

When the fall production is over, the new garments will be added to Dordt’s costume shop, where more than three decades of costumes already are available for use in regional theater productions. Blom said last year nine high schools and 11 churches borrowed costumes from the Dordt Theatre Shop, as well as many individuals.

Into the Woods, will be presented by the Dordt Theatre Department Oct. 20, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees will also be presented Saturday, Oct. 22 and 29, at 2 p.m. The musical is based on Grimm’s fairy tales, with favorite fairy tale characters granted their wishes, but then discovering the consequences are not always “happily ever after.”

To reserve tickets, contact the box office at 712-722-6430.

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