Theater Appreciation Students Make Trash Dolls

By Ruthie Cordia

At the beginning of this spring semester I decided to take a class called Theater Appreciation. In February that class started a unit over costume design. The instructor Grace Austin had us read a bit, take a quiz, and then told us that next class we would make trash dolls. As for what trash dolls were I had no idea but I became very excited to find out.

We each got our own wooden figures and were told to get four reference images. First we designed our costumes on a paper person based on one or all of the reference images. Next it was time to put our designs together. There were princesses, superheroes, a Five Nights at Freddy’s character, and even a Barbie inspired trash doll. Ms. Austin was kind enough to bring us plenty of supplies to use and we were also allowed to bring our own if we wanted. 

Trash Dolls pt. 2. What I mean by trash dolls part two is that we got to design an outfit but this time it was based on one of the ten or so hats that Ms. Austin had brought to class. There were old hats, police hats, headbands, and many more. You can see what I mean in the photo below. 

Back when we were choosing our classes for this semester I needed one more class. My counselor and I had been talking for a while so she knew I did theater in high school and how much I always said I missed it because I don’t have time for it now. When she brought up Theater Appreciation I immediately thought it was going to be going over the history of theater in boring presentations and reading those very old plays. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but it is not my style of learning. I could not have been more wrong about the class. 

Not only does Ms. Austin go over things in a fun way, she comes up with fun activities that help us learn about the topic. I had forgotten how much fun I used to have in theater until I took her class. Not only did we do the trash doll project but we had a day where, in groups, we each had to dress up each other in tin foil, trash bags, and other random things. In March this same class will be making props for the show Puffs! Knowing more about this class like I do now I am beyond excited to see what else Ms. Austin will have us do! To anyone who thinks they may be interested in theater but you just don’t have the time to do it, take this class!

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