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Team Ovation Traditions: Meet Our Team in Costume!

Posted by Bridget Beirne on October 31, 2013

Team Ovation shares some of their favorite costumes from on and off stage! 

In the spirit of yesterday's festivities, we thought we'd share some of our favorite costumes from our work on stage. As Professional Actors, we have to dress it up A LOT, and each costume we've had comes with a story behind it. Get to know Team Ovation better with a walk through some costume favorites:

President Kerri Garbis as Eva Peron in Evita, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Performed at Tennessee Repertory Theatre.

Kerri Garbis Team Ovation 


The first lady of Ovation as the first lady of Argentina! Madonna had nothing on Kerri's portrayal, or her costume. This particular bit of glamour and glitz is saved for the opening of Act II, where Eva belts out the ever famous "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina"


Director of Training David Marcotte as King Louis XIII in The Three Musketeers, adapted by Robert Kauzlaric. Performed at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival:

Team Ovation David Marcotte                   Photo Credit: Pete Guither

David had this to say: 

"In this photo, the always eccentric (notice the pinky ring and lace) King Louis XIII of France awkwardly and frightfully attempts to rally The Three Musketeers, d’Artagnan, and the rest of his troops to battle against the British.

What is difficult to realize in this photo is the absolute impeccable quality of this costume’s craftsmanship and materials.  The designer’s goal was to custom build all of the costumes for this show as the most realistic replicas of the actual period. From the undergarments, to the ropes that tied the garment closed, to the tights, the buckles on the boots, and the materials used in the hat. Truly impressive design and craftsmanship.

However, every rose has it’s thorn, as it were. I’d like to draw special attention to the fabric used to build this and all the other grand costumes in this show. The fabric used is extremely expensive imported UPHOLSTERY FABRIC! Upholstery fabric, as you might imagine, is extremely heavy, even more hot, and meant for your COUCH! Furthermore, it was outdoor summer stock in central Illinois, the most hot and humid place in the Midwest!

The only benefit to this beautiful costume, besides its beauty, was the fact that mosquitoes didn’t stand a chance."


Trainer Tom Frey as Captain Bluntschli in Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw. Performed at the Peterborough Players:

Tom Frey Team Ovation                                Photo Credit: Dale Hodges


Tom shared this story:

"This is one of my favorite costumes from one of my most favorite roles, Captain Bluntschli in Shaw’s Arms and the Man.  I want to call your attention to the sword in my left hand.  It’s a bit photo-shopped out to get rid of the laundry basket behind it in the dressing room where this was taken, but in reality, the sword was about four feet long.  Not so in rehearsal.  In rehearsal I used a short stick.  More about that in a moment.

In the play the soldier Bluntschli is on the run, being chased behind enemy lines after losing a war.  He stumbles into the boudoir of Raina (the heroine with whom he eventually falls in love) and, after winning her trust, is left alone for a moment, covered in war, and exhausted after days without sleep.  He struggles not to give in: “Nothing keeps me awake except danger: remember that: danger, danger, danger, dan—what am I looking for?  Sleep—danger—don’t know.”

All these lines had worked well in rehearsal as I twirled around deliriously between Raina’s bed and her dressing table on which were her wash basin, pitcher, mirror, and vase of flowers.  However, the morning of the dress rehearsal, they replaced my short stick with a completely unrehearsed four foot sword.  As I twirled around in this moment, the new sword spun and grazed everything on that table, only miraculously not knocking anything over.  They wobbled but didn’t fall around the line “Sleep—(then I twirl, almost break everything on the table, pause, and say:) danger—( big laugh from the company watching) don’t know."

The happy accident of that prop, which came to live in a loop on my hip as part of that costume, brought everything else to life in a way I couldn't have guessed when thrashing with that small stick. It was the missing piece that costume, and my performance, was waiting for." 


Dawn Stanyon of Professionality, Business Development Consultant:


Dawn Stanyon Team Ovation

              Photo Credit: Dawn Stanyon

Dawn shared this story on her awesome blog. She's in the front row, on the left:

"One Halloween, I dressed up with my work team. Have you heard of Phish? You know the band? We dressed up like granola hippie girls and wore beanie baby fish on our heads. Phish heads. Get it? Well, we thought we were awesome. Because we were awesome.

Unfortunately, I was on tap to go and present at a corporation on behalf of a local non-profit, which I had forgotten all about. So I went and presented with my hair in pig-tail braids, a boho skirt and a t-shirt. With a fish on my head. I looked about 12 years old. And I had a fish on my head. I don’t think the audience thought I was as entertaining as I thought I was.

My advice: Wear a costume (if your office does that sort of thing) that can quickly morph from party to professional." 


Trainer and Marketing Specialist Bridget Beirne, as Eliza Doolittle in Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady at the Fiddlehead Theatre:


Bridget Beirne Team Ovation

                          Photo Credit : Caroline Keene

"As an homage to the well-known film starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, our brilliant director and costume designer lovingly recreated the dress worn by Eliza Doolittle in the Ascott Race Scene. The original designer, Cecil Beaton, was one of his heroes and the placement of every flower, bow, and piece of lace was exact.

He also recreated Eliza's famous hat. He and I had a fun time doing a plastic head mold where he melted down a plastic used in design to the exact measurements of my head by wrapping my head in Saran Wrap and covering it with goo. (Seriously! Lots of laughs were had...) This was then built into a wig (to help my neck carry the hat weight) and then attached into the hat- everything went on as one piece. As you can imagine, the hat itself was pretty weighty. Negotiating corners and doorways was a challenge when wearing it. However, the hat would get applause on its own. Made those hours in the plastic-melt chair, and the occasional neck cramps, totally worth it!" 



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