It was with great anticipation that I went to a recent rummage sale at a very well-known theater here in the Milwaukee area. The chance to go backstage and see what sorts of costume and props treasures were available was so exciting that I planned my weekend around the sale. The chance of a lifetime, I figured. The long line of people waiting to get into the sale only heightened my excitement. This was going to be good! To my disappointment, however, the items with which the theater chose to part were less than breathtaking. One sad rack of costumes, several tables of mostly useless props...how utterly disappointing.
I would have gotten a great deal more satisfaction out of staying home and mowing the lawn.
While it would be amazing to have the resources (and budget) available to constantly buy new things, designers do their best to re-purpose as much as possible. I suppose that even larger theaters are under budget constraints and hold tightly to much of what they own, so it should have not come as a surprise that the pickings at the rummage sale were slim. But it never fails that every show will require the acquisition of at least a few new costumes or props, and every theater has a limited amount of storage space to hold all the many, many pieces it owns.
Volunteers here at Sunset all have the privilege of getting a backstage tour, where they can see just how crammed full of treasures our own storage areas tend to be. Between the small and large props storage areas, the costume loft, the costume shop and all sorts of nooks and crannies where things are kept, we are constantly looking for creative ways to organize and store the great trove of pieces we own. Our closets are bursting at the seams and it's getting tough to figure out where to store anything new.
So, with that in mind, we are starting to get ready to host our own rummage sale sometime this summer. It's time to clean out our stock of "stuff"....and we are betting on the fact that you are going to find some great treasures when we do. Not just one sad rack of costumes and a couple of tables of props, but all sorts of things that we simply can't keep.
We can't say just yet what will be available, but we can promise that you will have a good time searching through our treasures and will hopefully find a piece or two that belongs at your house. Perhaps it's a costume you recognize from a show you've seen, or a prop for which you can find a brand new use....maybe even some furniture that your college-bound kids could use in their new apartments. Won't it be fun to say that you own a little piece of Sunset?
No matter what, we hope to guarantee that it will certainly be more fun than mowing your lawn!
(Keep an eye out for information about the sale. It will be this summer, that much is certain, but the dates and times are yet to be determined.)