Performing Arts Department organizes costume giveaway


Sandra Koretz/Chronicle

From right to left: Wearing costumes they got from the giveaway, Hunter Griswold ’22, Will Cramer ’22, Ty Gatins ’22, Santiago Kelly ’22, Tosa Odiase ’22, Oliver Wyman ’22 and Assistant Features Editor Harry Tarses ’23 pose for a photo.

Natasha Speiss and James Hess

The Performing Arts Department hosted an impromptu costume giveaway in Rugby Auditorium in order to manage their limited storage space Friday. Prior to the event, many of the department’s costumes were given to the ACT-1 Academy of Children’s Theatre, an organization that instructs children on the principles of acting.

Clothes that were not taken by ACT-1 were open for students to claim. Assistant Technical Director Nate Fox announced the giveaway during the scheduled lunch block and said participants were allowed to take as many clothes as they wanted. Students chose from available items ranging from duck onesies to floor-length dresses.

Performing Arts Teacher Lisa Peters said by the end of the lunch period, most items were gone. Peters said she was pleased to see an enthusiastic response to the giveaway.

“You shout ‘free clothing,’ and a bunch of teenagers just swarm the stage,” Peters said. “Everything must go, and I’d rather [the costumes] go to people who will wear them, enjoy them and have fun with them than throw them in the garbage.”

Isaac Wiener ’23, who acquired a blazer, said he enjoyed the event because of its spontaneity.

“Originally I figured it was just a good way for the Performing Arts Department to get rid of old costumes, but it’s definitely an interesting shared experience,” Wiener said. “It’s a great way to put some excitement in the lives of students.”

Fox said he thought the limited publicity surrounding the giveaway might have led to more curiosity about the event.

“I was chuckling to myself about what the other teachers would be thinking when students [showed] up to their classes in funny headgear and strange trenchcoats,” Fox said. “I’m sure they would be like, ‘What happened during [the lunch block]?’”

While Fox said he enjoyed the aspect of surprise around the event, Kensuke Shimojo ’23 said he wished the Performing Arts Department announced the giveaway to the entire student body and not just those on The Quad.

“I saw a few people go in [to the auditorium] when [the giveaway] was happening, but I didn’t know anything specific until it was over,” Shimojo said. “I [would have] definitely looked around to see what was there if I had heard about it earlier.”

Performing Arts Teacher and Technical Director Aaron Martin, who got two inflatable squirrel tails and a scarf from the event, said he looks forward to having more events like the giveaway in the future.

“After the success of [the costume giveaway] today, I can almost guarantee there will be more in the coming years,” Martin said.