Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MSTW Spotlight: Nancy Street

Nancy Street, Costume Designer and Wardrobe Mistress

 
MSTW volunteers bring a wealth of energy and experience to their work with our company, and no one proves that point more than Costume Designer and Wardrobe Mistress Nancy Street.
 
Nancy and her husband Kim purchased a home in Pioneer in 2003, and moved here permanently from the Bay Area in 2005. "My Dad lived up here for 20 years," she said, "and we came to love it."
 
She and Kim have two grown children, Joseph and Emily. Joseph completes his Ph.D. this month at Stanford in Geology-Paleoclimatology. He and his wife, a teacher, are the proud parents of identical twin 4-year-old daughters. Emily lives in Marin County and, with her husband, owns a Pilates studio in Fairfax. That's an interest she shares with her mother, who is a Pilates instructor at New York Fitness and at Yoga Moment, and who also has her own private Pilates studio.
 
But it was her love of costume that brought Nancy to MSTW. She started by assisting seamstress Susan Johnston. Then for a production of Gaslight, Artistic Director Susan McCandless needed a coat made for a character on short notice, and Nancy stitched it up to order. "After that, every time she needed a costume and it was for a big person who needed a pattern adjusted, she called on me," Nancy laughed. 

She quickly graduated to costume design for productions of Goldfish Bowl and Leaving Iowa, and most recently for the modern version of Taming of the Shrew.

In fact, she has a long love affair with Shakespeare. When she was teaching 5th and 6th grades in Santa Cruz, she had the opportunity to work on a pilot program to bring Shakespeare's works to the classroom. The program became a success, allowing Nancy to incorporate Renaissance art, theatre, music, and dance into the curriculum. "The whole Shakespeare theme became integrated with what I was teaching," she explained. 
 
Now retired, she brings her considerable talent and energy to MSTW. The wardrobe is now in "wonderful, wonderful shape," she says, thanks to the efforts of Volunteer Coordinator Frannie Weinrob, Volunteers Linda Smith and Cathy McClellan and a cadre of other volunteers who organized all the gowns, hats, suits and accessories on racks and shelves in the space above the ticket office.
 
"I love the theatre, I love costume," she says. "But one of the great joys for me is working with the actors - their joy, their energy, their spirit, their talent. It's invigorating! And the venue is wonderful."

Republished from the Main Street Theater Works newsletter, August 17, 2012 www.mstw.org

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