Creative Costumes

Junior Kennedy Danner and her mom, Deana Danner, have been working on costumes for the spring production of Newsies. Kennedy has always had a passion for drama and costume designing and especially loves watching all the costumes come together in time for the show. News Editor Mady Sherman | Staff Writer Mary Kent


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Kennedy browses the multiple costumes for the show. Due to the large cast Kennedy works closely with her mother to design and create the outfits; however, she has worked on past shows by herself . Photo: Mady Sherman

 

When she was in kindergarten, Kennedy Danner debuted her acting career as a petite duckling in the production of Honk Jr. put on by St. Brigid Catholic School. She hasn’t stopped acting since. Following in the footsteps of many of her family members, Danner is very involved in the MHS drama department. Most recently as student head of costumes for the spring musical, Newsies.
“My mom went to school for fashion and fashion construction, and so she did costumes when I was growing up,” said Danner, a junior. “When I was in 5th grade I started helping her with costuming and shoes, now I am working with my mom on Newsies and it has been a lot of fun.”
Deana Danner, Kennedy’s mother and head of costumes, also became interested in drama, clothes, and costume design when she was in high school. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in clothing and textiles, fashion design, and merchandising. She said that she enjoys working with her daughter on various plays and musicals.
“My favorite thing about working with Kennedy is watching her develop the sense of what looks right on a character and what doesn’t,” Deana said. “I can step back because she knows what she’s doing, and it’s nice.”

 

Kennedy sews her costume for her character, Hannah. Newsies was performed April 11-13.
Photo: Mady Sherman

 

 

 

Kennedy said that when she begins costuming for a particular show, she looks at the time period along with the socioeconomic class of a character to help create an authentic representation for each one. In addition to designing and creating costumes, she also likes to create unique color stories for each character that ties together with other character’s colors.
“In Newsies, one character, Katherine, is wearing a lot of pinks, which is different than the character Pulitzer, who is wearing dark colors because he’s a villain; you want to put people in colors that go with their character,” Kennedy said. “The drama department’s costume supply is ultimately made up of what we have available in the costume closet, donations, Salvation Army, or from the costume closet we have in our basement.”
Newsies has a 45-person cast and has many actors playing several roles of different genders. There are many quick changes that have to happen and each individual actor needs something specific to wear. However, drama director Megan Applegate said that Kennedy and Deana working together helps to keep on top of many quick costume changes.
“Kennedy is a very dedicated actor, she is very familiar and comfortable with the stage she really seems to enjoy it and she makes it her own and takes leadership roles,” Applegate said. “Deana and her work together as a team, and it seems like things are coming along nicely.”
Applegate also said that she believes that Kennedy is a hard worker and has done a great job costuming in the past. Between Kennedy being involved in nine shows in her MHS career and the Danner family helping the drama department for years, Applegate believes that Newsies will be a wonderful production.
“It is fun seeing the mother daughter relationships,” Applegate said. “Theater is about relationships on and offstage, so I love to see the parents get involved; it’s a good opportunity to bond with their kids and other students and be apart of creating something together.”

Kennedy and Deana work on corsets for the Bowery Beauty characters. Often the Danners work on and discuss costumes together when at home. Photo: Mady Sherman