Behind the Ensemble: A Glimpse of the School’s Costume Designers and How They Design


The set of Alice in Wonderland with some of its cast members.

Kristie Perez, Staff Writer

Behind every button, every sleeve, every hem and every stitch showcased in every school performance, are the creative minds of the costume designers who made them.  

Designers strive to make their pieces as realistic to the performance’s setting and timeline.  

Junior Rayna Doniparthi was asked to design the character Janet Van De Graaf from “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which takes place in the 1920s. 

“My favorite part of it is it gives me an outlet to be very creative and, also, it gives me the opportunity to learn more about costume history and decades,” Doniparthi said.  

Another costume designer, senior Shannon Hennessy said she has always been interested in fashion and the details and challenges that go into the making of a costume. 

 “I really like looking at how the outfits that a character wears reflects the personality, the setting, the so many factors that go into what a character wears and what it says about them and the world they’re in,” she said. 

Hennessy oversees the costumes for the new show “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” which was performed several days throughout March.  

“Instead of putting the creatures in animal costumes I put them in clothing that kinda reflects physical features of the animal,” said Hennessy. 

Both Doniparthi and Hennessy qualified to submit their works to the 2023 Georgia Thespian Conference. Also referred to as the “Thespys”, this was a workshop for students to compete in multiple categories such as acting, singing, technical theatre and costume design. 

“I did not expect to do well at all- especially in a competitive category like costume design that a lot of people are into. It’s a huge honor, I’m very happy about it,” said Hennessy. 

Doniparthi agrees with Hennessy that attending the Thespys was a privilege. 

“It’s definitely nothing I’ve experienced before. It was a very interesting and insightful experience,” Doniparthi said. 

Additionally, the weight of Cory Kelley’s responsibilities as the theatre teacher has been much lighter with the costume designers on the team.  

“The greatest thing I think that they brought to the program is a unique perspective,” Kelley said.