ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Theater students at Gibbs High create professional costumes for all school plays
It’s a fashion design studio fit for the pros, but it’s owned by Ms. Kelley and her costume design.
“Going through the streak was definitely a challenge,” Kendall Swartz.
Swartz joined the program, she knew nothing about sewing.
“My goal was to get on stage and perform, and then I got into the tech department, and I saw how many opportunities they gave the students, and I fell in love with the costumes,” Swartz said.
Now as a senior, she is the costume designer and oversees all designs for the upcoming production of “She Loves Me”. Last year, Swartz spent three months making a leather coat for Shakespeare.
“I remember watching and being in shock that this is something I have on stage. It was amazing, it was the first play I was able to have on stage, ”said Swartz.
Typically, high school students rent their costumes, but every item of clothing at Gibbs High is designed and made by the students.
Trish Kelley has been teaching college-level costume design for over two decades.
“One of our graduates was in the running for a Tony for his role in ‘Ain’t Too Proud’, and the gentleman who wore that costume when he was here was in the production of The Cher Show, so he was dancing on stage. for that production. Seeing two of your people at Tony’s is amazing, ”Kelly said.
International fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff is also a notable graduate of the program. Junior Connor Totten aspires to follow in his footsteps.
“After I finished working on this piece, I felt like I ran out of standing there staring in wonder at what I had just done. I was like wow, I created such a beautiful dress, ”Totten said.