Costumes and Community


Abby Cataldi puts dresses away for the fall production of Anne of Green Gables (Photo Credit: Olivia Evans)

Every year, countless Mercy girls and their families fill the auditorium to watch students perform works of drama and musicals on stage. At the end of the show, actors receive applause and standing ovations for the work they’ve done. But backstage, countless girls on various crews work tirelessly to ensure the show runs smoothly. One such crew is costume crew, a tight-knit group of three girls who ensure all actors are properly outfitted when they step on stage. According to junior Priyanka John, a member of costume crew, the crew’s job is to make everyone look their absolute best.

“Our job is to make everyone look good, so we handle hair, makeup [and] costumes,” said John. “That’s all us. We have to make sure everyone has the right outfits . . . and that it looks picture-perfect.”

In addition to the general work of supplying all performers with costumes, costume crew also handles one of the most stressful jobs backstage: the quick change. A quick change is when an actor comes off stage and has a very short amount of time to switch costumes before he or she next enters the scene. Actors are not alone for these quick changes. They are aided by members of the costume crew.

“People will come off from one scene and they’ll need to get into a completely different costume,” said Abby Cataldi, junior and member of costume crew. “We have anywhere from a range of 30 seconds to a minute to change them.”

According to John, quick changes are an intense part of being on costume crew.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said John. “But it’s a lot of work.”

This fast-paced environment breeds a strong sense of community among the girls on costume crew. Renée Dolenga, freshman, says that while the job is hard and intimidating at times, the bonds she has made with the girls on crew have helped her to adjust.

“I was nervous when I first joined,” admitted Dolenga. Now, Dolenga says that the experience has been both rewarding and exciting for her.

Cataldi has also found close friends in her work on costume crew.

“I love costume crew because it’s an opportunity to bond,” said Cataldi. “It’s a very small crew, and I love the crew. I love the people on it.”