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Road Trippin' : Stitching for the stage

Trish Glose/KTVL

MEDFORD, Ore. -- A busy workshop, quiet at times and then exploding in laughter; stitchers, cutters and drapers all furiously working on the task at hand. There's a hiss from the iron, a slight tink from those picking up pins or needles and the occasional, consistent hum from a sewing machine. It's a department Oregon Shakespeare Festival audiences never get to see.

"We start working on our productions sometimes two years in advance, hiring designers, casting. The plays opening this weekend have actually been in process since last April," Christopher Acebo, Associate Artistic Director said about the busy costume shop.

"What I'm really doing is just draping something on a form. I'm trying to determine how to translate a picture onto a 3D form," Rachel Parks said about her current project.

Parks is a cutter draper with OSF. She's working on a costume for Romeo and Juliet, a play that won't run until summer.

"There's a lot of work that goes into the insides of clothes and as the conversations happen and changes happen, we need to have time to adapt," Parks said.

Heather DeBey is the Interim Costume Department Coordinator. She started at OSF in 2004 as a stitcher. She says there's a lot of work that goes into the costumes... including hours of research and conversation.

"By looking at the renderings, the drapers in the room can get a lot inspiration on how things were built, you can see exactly where the different seams are," DeBey said about the process.

Acebo said a lot has changed in OSF's history, except the organization's committment to equity, who is hired and what's represented on stage.

"And you think about this place, you also can't believe it ever happened. That's the other shocking thing. How is it one of the largest, or the largest repertory companies in the world is in Ashland, Oregon. It's really special in that way," Acebo said about the place he calls home.

Get information about OSF's season, including ticket prices and show times here.

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