Costume Designer Kate Schroeder made her Hillbarn Theatre costume design debut last winter, assembling and distressing the earthy-toned, world-weary clothing that punctuated the hardscrabble characters of Steinbeck’s classic Grapes of Wrath. Now she’s draping satin and sequins into gowns and pulling WW II uniforms, suits and hats from local theatre costume stock rooms, all with an eye to satisfying the audience’s well-tuned knowledge of the look and feel of our beloved, iconic holiday musical White Christmas. Kate has assembled a ton of period clothing from sources around the Bay Area that will be fit, altered and/or rebuilt to withstand the high-energy demands of a musical. Clothing and accessories are information for the audience, props for the actor and moving decor for the lighting designer!
The costume plot, an ever-shifting puzzle-because it does change throughout the rehearsal process, includes a list of every item to be worn by each actor, when they change, how long they have to make the change and details about how quick changes will be handled by the backstage crew and the magic of Velcro!
Kate is attending rehearsals and anticipating choreography needs, figuring out how to hide the microphone packs and addressing the concerns of the performers. There are lots of dance moves that incorporate costume elements such as the large shell shaped fans in the song and dance number “Sisters.” All of this work is happening in collaboration with the actors, director, choreographer, musical director, set and lighting designers, wig and make-up experts and the over all show coordinator, the stage manager.
It’s unrealistic to dream of celebrating a white Christmas in Foster City, but our talented design team will make your holiday dreams come true when the red curtain opens to reveal a winter wonderland.
Costume Designer Kate Schroeder graduated from Willamette University in Salem,Oregon, in 2013 with a degree in Art History and a passion for costume design. Mentored by a professor in the university costume department, Kate landed a summer internship in costuming with an Arkansas company before returning to her home in Oakland to study fashion pattern making and draping. Kate will join Hillbarn’s Mae Matos to costume Curtains this coming spring.