PSCA / Thingamajig Theater – Behind the Costumes – Part 1 with Nanette Cheffers

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In 2013 Nanette Cheffers volunteered to help with costuming for the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts / Thingamajig Theater’s – Beauty and the Beast.  She has been there ever since.  Nanette  has worked on countless shows throughout the years and is currently costume designer for the upcoming Legally Blonde the Musical (show dates June 15 – Aug 31) and Pinkalicious (July 7 – Aug 25) this summer.

“If it’s something you love, do it. I wish I would’ve started a long time ago.  Volunteer, we can always use it. Jump in head first and don’t worry about it.  We all start somewhere.” Nanette Chaffers

Legally Blonde the MusicalLegally Blonde the Musical is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film featuring Reese Witherspoon. Character Elle Woods is a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School after breaking up with her boyfriend to prove to him she is more than a pretty face. During the process of self explorations she realizes she doesn’t have to change for anyone, is true to herself, and remains in school to complete her law degree despite the constant harassment due to her looks and outgoing personality.

“Legally Blonde has more costume changes than any other show we’ve done. Elle has approximately 18 changes.” Nanette states.  “We’re not designing the costumes from scratch in the same way we’ve done for other plays. It’s more styling, accessorizing and alterations.  Which in some aspects is even more work than building the costumes from fabric.  Every piece has to fit the actors perfectly and needs to be cohesive throughout the show. When you build the piece you can do that from the start, but alterations take more time.  PSCA sewing costumingAlterations take a $25 thrift store suit and turns it into a $200 suit. It’s a lot of work but we have great people helping.” Most of the actors are also in the other plays showing throughout the summer.  “I get to know them a little before we even meet.  The more I find out the better idea I have of how to dress them for their parts.  You get to know what they like and don’t like and when I find that perfect piece I get excited because I know they are going to love it.  It helps them become the character completely when they dress the part.  It’s a transformation.”

When asked about volunteering Nanette says, “We’re always looking for help. If it’s something you love, do it. I wish I would’ve started a long time ago.  Volunteer, we can always use it. Jump in head first and don’t worry about it.  We all start somewhere.”

You can tell how much Nanette loves what she does and how much everyone appreciates her hard work.  “Everyone helps each other here. It gets a bit hectic during the show but everyone knows to keep their costumes together and takes care of the props.  The actors also help with various aspects of the shows throughout the summer as well.”  Theater has always been described as a big family.  You can definitely see and feel that when you visit the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts / Thingamajig Theater sets.

PSCA Bruiser
Paulette’s dog Rufus and Elle’s dog Bruiser. Bruiser also has costuming for Legally Blonde the Musical

“My favorite moment is when the actor lights up with excitement when they put on their costume.  It’s a transformation.”

You can see the incredible costuming Nanette does for the PSCA / Thingamajig Theater’s Legally Blonde the Musical and Pinkalicious this summer.  Opening weekend for Legally Blonde the Musical is June 15 – Aug 31.  Get your tickets here:  Legally Blonde the Musical .  Opening weekend for Pinkalicious is July 7 – Aug 25.  Get your tickets here:  Pinkalicious.  Season tickets can be purchased here:  2018 Season Tickets.

 

More About The Theater

Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts

Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts / Thingamajig Theater is a 501c3 Nonprofit and can always use your donation and your time.  If you’re a lover of the theater and would like to help, contact PSCA at (970) 731-7469) or email:  [email protected].  Find out more about PSCA and Thingamajig Theater at pagosacenter.org.


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