If all the world’s a stage, then craftspeople are its builders. Yet because craft, like the air we breathe, is such an integral part of our lives, we don’t always notice the vital supporting role it plays. This issue, we’re turning the spotlight on the often overlooked theatrical artisans who make the props, sets, costumes, puppets, instruments, and wigs –yes, wigs – that bring a show to life.
You’ll meet luthier Anne Cole, who has been making custom violins, violas, and cellos that have filled the world with music for close to 50 years. Wayne White’s name might not immediately ring a bell, but you’ll likely recognize his outrageous puppets and set pieces from Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Brooklyn dancer, musician, and costume and fashion designer Wunmi has made an impact in just about every area of performance. And then there’s the Guthrie Theater’s wig team, which welcomed us into their Minneapolis studio to learn about their craft.
The stage is a fascinating place, but what goes on behind its curtains can be even more captivating. So, theater craftspeople, take a bow. You’re in the spotlight now.
Find it on newsstands now or in your mailbox as an American Craft Council membership benefit.