By Kent Springborn Jr.
JRNM 151 Student
Lorain County Community College has many hidden gems on campus and the Costume Shop located in the Stocker Center is one of those. Not many people are aware of it, though, said Diane Papp, Costume Shop Supervisor. She feels that this is because not many students know enough about it despite the advertisements running on the college’s televisions throughout campus.
The Costume Shop, which has been in its current location for the last three years, serves as both a college and community resource. According to Papp, the last costume shop outgrew its location and the current one is more student friendly. The shop is also apart of the Arts and Humanity’s Theater Program and offers a costume rental program for educational purposes.
When asked what other things the Costume Shop does, Papp explained that she’s usually asked to take care of any textile issues that may come up on campus. She recently reupholstered the benches in the Stocker Center and is in charge of the caps and gowns for the graduation ceremonies on campus. Papp said “If it has to do with fabric, I’m usually the one they call.”
Students who take Theater 151 are required to put in lab time which they can choose between working on costumes, stage work, lighting, or be in the play. Even former students choose to come back to help with costume work. Papp typically receives help from an average of ten to fifteen students per semester.
If students aren’t apart of Theater 151, they can still offer their help to Papp by stopping by the shop or making an appointment with her to work out a schedule. “Just come talk to me. The more the merrier,” Papp said and that students should be prepared to work really hard.
Papp does offer training to students who want to help out, but don’t know how to sew. Her main mission is to teach students the basic sewing techniques to see if it’s what they want to do. When asked about any advice she had to give any student who might be interested in costume making, she said “Embrace it and it may become your passion. She also hopes students have seen shows, movies, television, etc. to get an idea and understanding of what costume making can result in. She also suggests they keep a scrapbook of costume elements they like and to study historic garments to get inspiration for their designs.
Nancy Jamison, Associate of Arts major and former Theater 151 student, was one of the students who got involved in working with Diane Papp. During the Spring 2014 semester, Jamison ended up working as an assistant stage manager on the show for that semester. While working as a stage manager, Jamison also helped Papp with sorting shoes and hats in the “vault,” a section of the campus basement that stores most of the shop’s costumes and some of the props and collections.
Jamison said, “I always have enjoyed working with Diane. She can be a tad stern at times, and she has to be, but I’m sure to people who don’t know her, it can be intimidating.” Despite this, Jamison also said that when she’s on the verge of a crisis, Papp has been there to help her out and figure things out.
Students who are interested in getting involved with the Costume Shop are encouraged to stop by the shop to talk to Papp or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.