By: Teresa Acosta
The Gary Marshall Theatre has partnered with East Los Angeles College to provide two student interns for the production of “The Root Beer Bandits.” Hannah Sadeghian and Lisa Hong, both working toward costume certificates through ELAC’s Theater Arts department, worked on the design and construction of costumes featured in a stage performance of a Wild West family musical.
“The Root Beer Bandits” show included a plethora of costumes,from classic western style vests and long coats, to elaborate hoop skirt dresses with all the trimmings. Jessica Champagne-Hansen, faculty at ELAC, also works designing costumes for The Gary Marshall Theatre.
She helped create a partnership with the theater and ELAC that has given internships to students for the past few years. The internships are usually given to students who are close to finishing their studies and have the skills and knowledge necessary to practice in the professional industry.
Sadeghian is in her second year at ELAC and would like to have a career in costuming. She said she would design and create a costume, then have the actor try it on and receive feedback from the director and Hansen. She took notes and made adjustments to the costumes until it was right. Sadeghian found this process really important and felt comfortable learning something new in this environment.
The pace from start to finish is quick and can, at times, be hectic. “One of the benefits of a professional internship is seeing how quickly the shows are put together! This is a huge skill and one I am sure Hannah will use when she transitions from school to working in film and TV costuming,” Hansen said.
Hong is also in her second year of the costume certification program, though she has already received her associate of arts degree in animation from ELAC. She likes designing a project in 2D and then having it brought to life in a costume. “Lisa worked on flat patterning but also on painting and costume distressing, both of which use different skills developed in art and animation.
Lisa will be able to take many of the skills for costuming to apply them to animation with more realistic and accurate costuming, both in shape and style but also drape and texture,” Hansen said. Her inspiration for learning costume construction comes from watching her mother, who is a seamstress.
She would see her create things and thought that it was something she could do as well. Hong would like to use what she has learned to create costumes for theater and television.