Montclair State’s Jeffrey Reid fixes costume malfunction at Kasser.
Montclair State University is home to many talented students, which is especially true in the performing arts programs. Even those behind the curtains are responsible for a great deal of making the shows in the Fox and Kasser Theaters magical. This past weekend, junior Jeffrey Reid in the Design and Production program within the Department of Theater and Dance assisted in what could have been a major wardrobe malfunction.
The issue came in the opening of At the same time we were pointing a finger at you, we realized we were pointing three at ourselves at Kasser Theater on the campus of Montclair State. According to Reid, the costume with an issue was a crochet lion head; the dancer who wore the piece kept doing such extreme moves that it kept flopping off of his head. Reid worked with Robyn Orlin, director and choreographer of the show, to figure out how to stabilize the costume so that it didn’t shift on his head and fall off, as it was a symbolic piece to the performance.
In order to solve the issue, Reid worked with Orlin to brainstorm how to make the piece stay. First, they added loops for the dancer’s arms to go through made out of the thick yarn used to make the piece, but the back of the piece still came over the dancer’s head. More yarn was then woven to make it tighter around the arms, and eventually they had to add an elastic chin strap, which finally worked. However, once the show got closer and the dancer used more excited movements, the whole piece shifted again and needed more work. Finally, another elastic piece secured around the dancer’s neck and allowed him to dance freely without coming off with his large movements.
Reid is a costume technologies major in the program. “[At Montclair], there’s costume design and costume technology,” said Reid. “There’s the people who draw, work with the directors, develop concepts and do the rendering, and then there’s the people who work in the shop to realize the ideas. I’m one of the people that makes the costumes.” Reid has experience as a draper for Three Penny Opera, which was performed this past fall. He also worked on wardrobe for 42nd Street, and is currently a draper for the upcoming Winter’s Tale in Kasser Theater.
Working on costume production wasn’t Reid’s original plan when he came to college. “I was originally going to be a sociology major,” said Reid. “I had done theater in high school, so I decided to give it a try. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience than being in the theater program. The hours are long and it’s a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun and you get that sense of accomplishment when you’re the draper, you made the costume and you see the actor on stage moving in the costume you made.”
Reid encourages students to try theater production if they’re interested. “If you have the slightest desire to design for theater, if you thought once that it would be fun, you should give it a try,” said Reid.