Where To Get Costumes?!
This is a constant problem asked by not only a director, but anyone who is putting on a large ensemble musical. There are a lot of options to find costumes for your show, however those options also raise problems within themselves. Amazon is an easy and cheap option, but a lot of times the quality and fit is a gamble, and piecing together little items adds up and isn't always as cost effective as you think. Sure you can scour Goodwill, but only if you are doing a retro or modern day piece and again quality and cleanliness may be an issue.
For a long time our community had a secret costume guru- Karlah Louis. Karlah Louis is an amazing seamstress that our performing art community was blessed to have. When I was the director for Little Mermaid, I remember going to her house and seeing her entire collection. It was rows and rows of SHOWS. Yes complete shows, in many sizes and options. Her costumes were beyond compare or anything you could imagine. Schools won awards for her costumes- Karlah was the unsung hero of the costuming world saving many of us who put on shows a lot of stress.
Karlah, however, recently decided to move on to new endeavors and closed her company. Luckily for us, she was gracious enough to sell her lot to the entire community. For weeks I watched her advertise whole show lots. I don't even own a theatre company and was tempted to buy the entire Little Mermaid costume lot just for kicks (I can find a way to wear mermaid costumes in my daily repertoire right?!). Schools and companies were quick to grab their upcoming shows. One company in particular decided to pick up the torch.
StageCoach Theatre Company, located in Ashburn VA, decided to continue the amazing efforts started by Karlah. StageCoach purchased many costumes from costumes, and also continue to pick up new pieces on their own. They hope to help the community with all their costuming needs. When you walk into StageCoach Theatre's black box you get so see some of their costumes modeled by their mannequins. They have show sets from Shrek, Game of Thrones, Addams Family, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Aladdin, Oliver, Les Miserables, Into The Woods, Peter Pan, Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, and even more miscellaneous costume pieces.
StageCoach is currently working on cataloging their stock, but costumes are available now! For info on renting costumes contact April Bridgeman at firstname.lastname@example.org