Costume exhibition showcases Sterling Theatre legacy

By JESSE SHEPPARD, reporter
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018

Photo by Jesse Sheppard

The “Art of Theatre” Exhibition opened Friday and will run until Nov. 2 in the Art and Media Center.

It features costumes from many Sterling productions, including last year’s “Once Upon a Mattress,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and “Romeo and Juliet”. It also showcases costumes from “The Servant of Two Masters,” as well as many past productions throughout Sterling College’s history.

Ardynn Brooks, sophomore art education major, is a costume designer and the costume shop foreperson. Brooks has designed and constructed costumes that are featured throughout the display.

“I have a few featured works, [they] feature primarily in a ‘then and now’ section, comparing our modern Shakespeare, to the classical Shakespeare pieces,” she said.

Photo by Jesse Sheppard

Brooks said she was excited about the exhibition.

“It is a little unnerving because that means people get the chance to be up close and personal with things that I made that are not perfect, but from the audience, you think they look better than they really do,” Brooks said. “I think it’s a cool opportunity to get up close and personal and see what it really looks like up close.”

Brooks shared this is a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to witness the costumes from ages past.

“Some of them have not seen the light of day in many years,” she said.

Sasha Hildebrand — a 2003 alumnus who serves as director, choreographer and costume designer for Sterling College Theatre — discussed her time in the theatre as a student at Sterling.

Photo by Jesse Sheppard

“One of the main aspects of being involved in the shows is that you were not only expected to perform on stage, but you were also expected to work out somewhere technically, behind the stage,” she said.

Hildebrand said designing costumes as a student enabled her to become a creative and a leader.

“That’s where I fell in love with the idea of costuming and how that relates to theater and storytelling and character development. At Sterling, we had such an opportunity to work with a plethora of costumes, but also a director and a designer who let us spread our wings artistically.”

This opportunity led Hildebrand to discover her interest in costuming.

“I loved finding the connection between storytelling and what the character and the actor actually wore,” she said.

Hildebrand was able to design this exhibition to share the legacy of Sterling Theatre with alumni and students.

“Thinking about the show, we wanted to celebrate the history and construction of things that have been specifically made for shows here in Sterling, or have been reconstructed for various shows at Sterling,” she said.

The exhibition focuses on not only the history of Sterling Theatre, but also the design of each piece.

“We wanted to celebrate the theatricality of some of the clothes that we’ve produced throughout history here,” Hildebrand said. “We chose really bright and colorful things, ornate things, and things that represent the class and genre we typical have at Sterling.”

To see the exhibition, visit the Art and Media Center Gallery now until Nov. 2.