I had the pleasure of touring the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education with the Marquee Club this week. To say this was an absolute treat would be an understatement. We were able to visit with the heads of the costume department, prop shop and set design.
This was my first visit to the Newman Center, also known as the Tramway Building, located at 13th & Arapahoe just across the street from the main theater pavilion. The Newman Center is also home to meeting rooms, rehearsal space and classrooms. Fun fact: the elevator shafts also serviced the tramway cars that were originally housed in the building.
The tour started in the costume shop were they are working on the upcoming Glass Menagerie and Frankentsein shows. I was able to take a peek at the drawings for both shows as well as some of the muslin mock-ups of the costumes. Most notable was the huge costume room, which is just one of the four in the building. The department keeps a huge inventory of previously used costumes and has hosted two prior Halloween sales. Now if only I knew when the next sale was going to be!
Next stop was talking with the hat, mask and wig department. The amazing talented wig maker shared that it takes 40-50 hours to complete one wig! She prefers to use human hair when possible as it allows for better movement and natural coloring. However shows such as A Christmas Carol require upwards of 50 wigs and as such, many in that show are synthetic for durability.
The prop shop may have been my favorite stop on the tour. There is a sewing room, painting room and carpentry room which means there is more than enough space to handle any project, or might I saw Pinterest project one could dream up! I learned that for roughly each show half the props are purchased new and then customized to fit the need. A typical prop budget for a show can run anywhere from $2K to $10K depending on the scope.
Attached to the prop shop is a huge wood shop along with an enormous room where sets are put together. There is even a paint closet big enough to fit a prop car in! The last stop on the tour was the room where all the set detailing is completed. This is the department that actualizes the requests the designers have. For example, the department is currently working on getting the right consistency for mud which will grace the floor of an upcoming show while also constructing faux brick walls for another show.
The Newman Center is also home to the PHAMALY Theater Company. If you haven’t had a chance to see one of their shows, I encourage you to go see one. It really is a true delight!
Thank you to the Newman Center for Theatre Education & Marquee Club for a wonderful evening,
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Meet the Author
Libby Levinson made the move into real estate in 2005 and proudly joined Kentwood Real Estate – Cherry Creek in 2006. During her career, Libby has had the pleasure of helping a variety of clients navigate their real estate transactions: helping first-time buyers find their starter home; coordinating the synchronized sale and purchase for buyers looking for more space; sellers looking to down-size; and assisting sophisticated investors with their next investment opportunity. She has also enjoyed working with buyers building their dream home from the ground up. Libby is known for her ability to smoothly facilitate the complex details of both the buying and selling process.