Marilyn Hagerty: Sanner stitches plays together with skill
Fixing zippers, blending colors, making things fit. That is the challenge for Amy Sanner. She had a short white linen-looking jacket over her arm as we talked before the opening of "Once on This Island." And with it she had some matching fabric. ...
Fixing zippers, blending colors, making things fit.
That is the challenge for Amy Sanner.
She had a short white linen-looking jacket over her arm as we talked before the opening of "Once on This Island." And with it she had some matching fabric. She said the two pieces would become a white formal jacket.
The show is a dazzling two-hour production with colorful costumes, beautiful music and a story of love.
"We have a goal in the costume rooms that things will look right on stage,'' Sanner said.
She and her crew were scrambling to put final touches on costumes for the musical, now playing at Red River High School Performance Hall. The show continues through Tuesday with a 4 p.m. matinee today.
The musical is a story of life, love and faith with the flavor of an island. The crew in the costume room as nicknamed it "OOTI."
Sanner started as a part-time summer costumer for the theatre where her children were involved. She also has used her needles and scissors for Fire Hall Theatre and the East Grand Forks fall musical. She has helped out with North Dakota Ballet winter programs. And she has helped out at Frost Fire Theatre at Walhalla.
"It's pretty much what I get drawn into-pretty much year round at this juncture."
Sanner and her husband, Brad, have six children who have grown up taking part in SPA shows. They include Lauren, 14, just coming off her performance as Annie in the SPA performance at Central High Theatre.
Getting casts in costumes for shows is a challenge Amy Sanner loves.
For "Annie," she said, "We made up about 50 percent of the costumes from the huge storage room at Red River."
Things come from all over. People donate. The costume crew sews. Some things they purchase. Allison Peterson of SPA oversees keeping the costume room organized.
There are racks of period-specific costumes. Sometimes they are loaned out to other theater groups with the stipulation they will be returned in good shape and clean.
For the final show-an opera in August-costumes are being rented. But there are more than 60 students in the current show.
Along with Amy Sanner, the three others doing the sewing were Cassel Everson, Anisa Holwerda and Terese Kulas.
Their hours were long. The details are ones many in a show have never done here before, Amy Sanner said. The directors tweak it to get what they want.
And the costume crew works with directors to make sure the colors will blend on stage and the costumes will allow the students to move freely.
Directors for this weekend's show are Connie Sherwood and Angie Black with Brad Sherwood conducting.
During the past week, people behind the scenes have adopted a nickname "OOTI" for "Once on This Island."
The folk tale takes place on an unnamed island. The costumes are of muted colors. Amy Sanner has been enjoying the preparations as much as she did 13 to 14 years ago. She goes to all the shows.
"You watch the cast and you get so attached to all of them," she said.
For Amy Sanner, theater is a life-long fascination. She was a performer when she attended Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minn. Her father, a banker, was also an actor at Chanhassen Theatre in Minnesota. She danced with the North Dakota Ballet at UND.
Amy Sanner is cool, calm, collected.
"Stuff happens," she said, "but things can be fixed."
She finds it a matter of keeping cool and knowing things will work out. So if a zipper breaks during a scene, she knows how to make it right in a jiffy during intermission.
"Our motto," she says, "is it will look good on stage."