When watching a high school play, many people don’t really understand what really goes on behind the scene. However, that cannot be farther from the truth when you talk to the people behind the curtains, such as Ms. Megan Nardone, costume designer and director for the HHS drama department.
A recent HHS musical called Cinderella was a well-received production. HHS math teacher, Ms. Nardone, was behind the scenes working on the costume element of the production. When asked about the time she had in the background and the challenges that faced her during the making of the famous Cinderella dress itself, she said, “I had a great time with this one and I love Cinderella; I love Rodgers and Hammerstein. However, the most fun was creating Cinderella’s dress, which was transforming.”
At one point in the production, Cinderella’s garb of rags had to change into a beautiful ball gown. However, since the dress was transforming and was actually two dresses in one, some challenges did arise. According to Ms. Nardone, “The hardest part of the play was making her dress seem natural and magical.”
Ms. Nardone explained that the dress needed to have a flow to it. “I didn’t want it to seem like she was just changing on stage. So that was a fun and challenging part of the play,” said Ms. Nordone who was able to overcome the dilemma by using an intuitive method of velcro across the front of the costume, while the ball gown was inside the skirt of the house dress.
Like most artists, however, Ms. Nardone took her own path toward her art. She was first introduced to sewing when she was in school.” I learned how to sew in school when I was younger, because they did teach it when I was in Middle School,” said Ms. Nardone. She later described that her mother was another large influence.” My mother taught me for the most part. It was something we could do together,” added Ms. Nardone.
As time marched forward, Ms. Nardone had to face challenges that hampered her progress as an artist. She added, “For me, one of the hardest obstacles were patterns. I had always been a type of person who doesn’t read the instructions when I’m putting something together. When I started sewing for myself, a lot of the patterns I was using were 1940’s original patterns. The markings were different and some didn’t have markings at all, so I really had to follow the directions if I wanted it to go together the way it was supposed to.”
Ms. Nardone’s talent mainly came to use in reenactments that required WWII type of clothing. “I really started, because I did World War II reenactments. It’s just easier to actually sew your own clothes than to find 80-year-old clothes,” said Ms. Nardone. Now, Ms. Nardone has joined the HHS drama department where her sewing ability are used once again.
Ms. Nardone’s introduction into the drama department was set in motion when a fateful parent spoke of the department itself. She said, “Last year I had a parent in class who was the head of costumes, and we would talk about costumes for the shows a lot. I’m very passionate about sewing and I liked theater, so I offered to help out and it went from there. Mr. Batche asked me to come in and do some of the costumes, and this year I came back to do some of the costumes for Cinderella.”
This bright, glowing spark of interest for theater came from Ms. Nardone’s past and childhood. According to Ms. Nardone, she was a big theater child and had a large quantity of inspiration from her role models. “I was a theater student in high school. I was mainly on the technical side; I did the costumes, set design and set construction.”
Ms. Nardone added, “I had a director in high school while I was an underclassman who really left a huge impression on me, as well as other students in my acting group. He treated everyone as professionals and you really learned how to work at a professional theater.”
With all of these intriguing past experiences, plays, and people, Ms. Nardone has been a part of many productions like Cinderella. As she has been in many, her favorite time on set was a production called Kiss me Kate. “Kiss me Kate, I liked that one the most, because it was a play within a play. You were able to do two different time periods when it came to costumes.”
As more and more creative and interesting plays approach the HHS club, Ms. Nardone won’t be leaving the costume scene anytime soon. She spreads her joy of theater with students and encourages all to investigate the possibility of joining the drama club.
“Join, we always have room for more. We will be having a meeting at the end of the year for anybody who is interested in joining whether they are already involved or not, but there is always room for more whether it be on stage or offstage,” added Ms. Nardone.
One thing is for sure, Ms. Nardone have found her artistic niche here at the high school. “Thank you to everybody who got me involved in the show. I’m grateful to Mr. Ross and Mr. Batche for allowing me to be a part of the drama club and for letting me to be a part of the group,” added Ms. Nardone.