To make my costume for my middle school musical, Mississipi Melody (an adaptation of Tom Sawyer), my mom openned her sewing room - a hallowed place of wonder!  I could use anything I wanted to create my costume for Mrs. Phelps.  The most minor role in the show, Mrs Phelps was 300 years old, but as the script noted "still had a pep in her step." 

 

I made a long draw-string skirt from a remnant of green cordery, turned a white dress shirt backwards and removed the collar, fashioned a bonnet from a wide-brimmed basket and silk flowers, and tied my baby pillow to my waist for a bustle. For a middle schooler, the result was impressive.

 

IBetter still, the pepping step of Mrs. Phelp's gaite made bustle hilariously bounce in performance, covering many painfully long exits with laughter.  

I was hooked!  

I love and respect the s

I'm a costumer, theatre artist, and educator with extensive experience in theatre, television, and film.

 

My most recent work includes:

  • SET COSTUMER - American Movie Classics (AMC) TV show TURN: Washington's Spies, a weekly series about the first patriot spy-ring during the American Revolution.

  • ASSISTANT COSTUMER - Sweeney Todd for St. Mark's Players in Washington, DC

 "The right costume can speak volumes before the first word of dialogue."

My first big break...

In making the costume for my first play, "Mississipi Melody" (a middle school adaptation of Tom Sawyer), my mom opened her sewing room to me.  It was a grand gesture on her part and a magical moment.  I was allowed to use anything in the room to create my costume for the role of Mrs. Phelps.  Mrs. Phelps was 300 years old and the most minor role in the show, but as the script noted, "still had a pep in her step." 

 

I made a floor length, draw-string skirt from a remnant of green corduroy; turned a white button-down shirt backwards, fashioned a bonnet from a wide-brimmed basket with silk flowers, and tied my baby pillow to my waist for a bustle. 

 

Better still, Mrs. Phelp's "peppy steps"  made the bustle bounce up and down hilariously during performance, covering many painfully long exits with laughter from the audience.  I was hooked!  

Diana Haberstick