by Lenise Willis

Twin City Stage in Winston-Salem hosts Community Open House

Volunteer Yvonne Truhon shows some of the medals and jewelry found in the costume shop to visitors.

My family and I are Halloween fanatics. It’s a problem. It means that every Goodwill or thrift store I visit, I wind up coming out with those awful sparkly high-heel shoes, the gaudy faux fur jacket nobody wanted and other horrendous items for the sake of, “I might use it for a costume one day.”

Like most women, my closet is filled with clothes that don’t fit and sentimental dresses I’ll never don again””and that I’ll never get rid of. But it’s also filled with leather “Pink Ladies” pants, a green southern bell dress, a sparkly flapper-girl costume and an entire box of hats styled from various eras.

The latter of that collection actually came from a theater costume sale by Twin City Stage in Winston-Salem. A sale which I’ll once again be visiting next weekend for the treasure trove of costumes, accessories and props.

Kicking off its 80 th Season, Twin City Stage will host a Community Open House next Sunday, Sept. 7.

Guests will be able to see various aspects of the design process, from sketches, scenic designs and models to the fairy-tale set and costumes of the company’s upcoming production of Into the Woods. Demonstrations including hair and make-up design will also be included.

“Most immediately, a peek behind the curtain will give our visitors a surprise””the number of people needed to make a production appear effortless is absolutely amazing,” said Maureen Daly, executive director. “The performers on stage are just the tip of the iceberg. Magic happens in every corner of a theater””from sets moving on and off, specialty props, lights, and the transformational effect of costumes.”

“For kids who are interested in theatre, our open house gives them a chance to see that there are a variety of potential career fields to consider, or maybe just places to volunteer for fun,” added Kristina Ebbink, marketing director.

In addition to behind-the-scenes tours, Twin City Stage is holding a costume shop sale in its classrooms, and a “garage sale,” complete with power tools, set pieces and props, in front of its scene shop during the event.

On sale at the open house will be another great selection of vintage clothing””ripe for Halloween costume shopping.

Justin Hall, costume shop manager, said the selection includes both men and women styles from the 60s, 70s and 80s, with a large assortment of accessories, furs, hats and shoes.

In addition to a dress-up fanatics dream, the open house also includes a shop sale, which includes set pieces, furnishings and tools. “All kinds of things that can be put to great use in imaginative and creative ways,” Daly said.

The money raised will primarily be used to replace older sewing machines and update the scene shop with more modern equipment.

This is Twin City Stage’s first open house of its kind. “Last year was the first time we held an open house since the late 90s,” said Kristina Ebbink, marketing director. “Everyone had so much fun””volunteers and guests alike””that we felt we had to repeat it. The costume shop has had a few sales over the years, but I don’t believe the scene shop has done one before. It will be great to have so much going on at once. Busy, but great.”

“We’re a community theatre, so we love meeting people who want to know more about what we do,” Ebbink added. “It’s a great chance for people to find out more about the many volunteering opportunities that we have here. We chose this September date because we’ll have our set and costumes ready for Into the Woods, which is the opening show of our 80 th season.” !


Twin City Stage’s Community Open House is on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 1-5 p.m., at the Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive in Winston-Salem. Everyone is invited and admission is free. Refreshments will be provided. Tours begin in the lobby. For more information, call 748-0857 x201 or visit