If you think your closet is a lot to manage… just wait ’til you see the “closet” at Sleepy Hollow Theatre.
“This is not for the faint of heart, as we say,” says Susan Lundberg, one of the theatre’s co-founders.
“It’s either horror or amazement,” explains Stephanie Delmore, who co-founded Sleepy Hollow with her sister. “Either people come in and they are enthused and they go, ‘Oh my — what we could do!’ And then there are the other people like, ‘Could you get rid of part of this?'”
Sleepy Hollow Theatre was founded in Bismarck in 1989. And in the three decades since then, to say that Lundberg and Delmore have accumulated a lot of costumes and props would be a serious understatement.
“Every show you do, every need you have, you create more. We get donations,” Delmore says.
“We climb a lot of ladders, up and down,” Lundberg says — up and down (and down and back) the huge storage facility in downtown Bismarck. It’s about the length of a city block. And if you can dream it up, they probably have it.
“So these are shoes, floor-to-ceiling here. We have instruments and we have old telephones and trays.” Not to mention giant fish, typewriters, lobsters, and the Wizard of Oz himself. And what about costumes?
“Someone might give us a green formal,” Delmore says. “It could be Peter Pan tomorrow.”
That’s what Stephanie Delmore and her team specialize in: turning old clothes into raw material, which then becomes the final piece of the theatrical puzzle.
“You put that costume on, and you’re Marie Antoinette, you’re Cleopatra — you are these things,” she says. “That’s that final touch of magic that gets you to glue it together.”
“Outdoor theatre is as big as life,” Lundberg says. “There are no ceilings; there’s nothing to hem you in.”
That’s why Susan Lundberg and Stephanie Delmore love the organized chaos of this warehouse — because from that chaos comes… well, here’s how Stephanie puts it: “When they’re on stage, it should be… light.”
You can see those props and costumes — and of course, those great young actors — every night through next Thursday at the Sleepy Hollow Theatre Park.
Click here to learn more about the show and secure your tickets.
By the way: the Sleepy Hollow prop and costume department is so big, they help other, smaller theatres around North and South Dakota by sending them costumes and materials.