Renovations give theatre shops new life

Eric Rowe – Staff Writer

The theatre department relocated its costume shop and revamped its scene shop over this past summer.

With the flurry of construction in the past year on the link between the science and classroom buildings, it seems easy to correlate the two.

“It’s something that needed to happen regardless of the link,” technical theatre director Laura Berkompas said. “We have the space to try new things now.”

The Dordt costume shop produces all the _MG_7076costumes for both the main stage and smaller shows that are performed at Dordt, as well as rents costumes out to both students and the general public.

The scene shop is the space where student workers craft all the scenic elements and props used in theatre productions.

The theatre department met with the registrar, engineering, computer science, computer services, math, and maintenance departments when planning and implementing the shop renovations.

Stan Oordt, head of maintenance, and his crew took care of organizing construction and hiring out the scene shop work.

The new costume shop is located down the stairs underneath the theatre pod, and the scene shop has enveloped the old costume shop space.

Jessica Lilo and Bridget Rowe, who have been costume shop workers both in the old space and the new, commented on the challenge of the many nooks of the old space.

“We had four different rooms,” Lilo said.

“Before, we had to go upstairs, downstairs, and all over the place,” Rowe said.

The costume shop is now situated in one room, so workers can better communicate with each other and with visitors.

Over the summer, the scene shop gained the space that the costume shop vacated. With the removal of a few walls, the space nearly doubled.

“There is a lot more area,” Jacob Van Dyken, one of the student managers in the scene shop, said. “We’re not working on top of each other, which allows us to be more efficient and there’s less frustration.”

The different rooms and levels of the ex-costume shop are now used for storing materials, tools, paint and works in progress and the storage area is accessible directly from the scene shop.

“Now we are closer to the tools, closer to the material and closer to each other,” Van Dyken said.

This benefit of a rethought layout is carried over to the costume shop workers.

“Everything is in one place,” said student supervisor, Emily Riihl. “All of our sewing machines are in one place so renters aren’t walking through.”

The new costume shop improved its technology as well as its layout. There is a separate outlet system for powered hot glue guns, irons, and other heat tools so that the workers can turn off all the heat at once and reduce the fire risk.

One consequence of the costume shop relocation is that the workers aren’t familiar with where specific costumes are yet.

“If you are renting costumes,” Riihl said. “Be patient.”

The costume shop is open to both Dordt students and the public three days a week. The new hours are Mondays from 1-5p.m., Thursdays from 2-5p.m. and Fridays from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

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