A Costume's Second Life

This post is written by Monica Warren, Artist Services Coordinator at The Clarice.

What happens to a costume after the show is over?

Does it go into retirement? Are there old tutus playing shuffle-board with once worn opera gowns? Do they participate in early morning water aerobics and take fun bus trips to Atlantic City?

As fabulous as that sounds, in some cases, they just go back to work. At The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Costume Shop holds a host of beautifully crafted and interestingly procured costumes. Recently, some of them were reincarnated by alight dance theater, a local dance company in Greenbelt, MD that was founded by several University of Maryland alumnae.

One retired Army jacket was used in a photo shoot to create a promotional advertisement for alight’s upcoming performance, Frontline: Women of a Forgotten War, a piece funded by Star Spangled 200 as part of Maryland’s year-long commemoration of the War of 1812.

The work is about women’s experience in the locally and nationally historic war. And the blue jacket, complete with gold detail, was precisely what was needed to create proper context for a very simple photo shoot.

alight dance theater photo shoot

Check out the final product that was created:

Frontline: Women of a Forgotten War

If you think the jacket did its job, you might be curious to check out the show! The performance is at The Bowie Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday, October 4th at 3PM and 8PM. Tickets are available at alightdancetheater.org.

Pssst! If you are a University of Maryland student, email Monica for a special student ticket offer!

Share your own story of a costume’s second life below!