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The HGHS Wardrobe
Photo by Margot Rawlings

Our not so secret workforce: The Wardrobe Crew

Margot Rawlings —

For every person who appears on a stage there are several who are behind the scenes making sure the performance comes together. Costumes, props and sets are all essential components of performance art and at HGHS we have recognised the value of this work through the creation of a Service group called The Wardrobe Crew.

This new group formed in 2022 and is made up of students from all year groups who meet every week to do a wide range of tasks to support the performing arts at HGHS. Students can pick and choose their projects to fit in around their interests and other commitments.No prior knowledge or skill is required and members do not have to be taking any of the arts subjects to join.

“I went in with very little prior experience with clothing, but now I've learnt so much! I can lace a corset, organise clothes by era, measure, sew... Even though I didn’t really know what I was doing at first, I regularly go to Wardrobe Crew and am so happy to be able to help behind the scenes.” says Wardrobe Crew member, Sophia Bankers.

To date the students have worked out a fabric shroud for the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare group, painted masks and applied makeup for the same performance, repurposed and organised a cupboard to store Pasifika and Dance costumes, laundered and put costumes back into the wardrobe, labelled boxes of costumes in the wardrobe, made a collage of production photos to fit into a frame for the wall, hung curtains in the Drama room, made curtains for the Dance studio, modelled for the Year 10 Textile class, painted the canopy piano, measured and labelled a set of petticoats, made cravats for a Year 11 Drama assessment and so much more.

“I really love Wardrobe Crew because it's a fun opportunity to spend time with my friends and actually be helpful. I love sewing so I like being able to learn new skills, use the skills I already have and teach others. For example, I learnt how to gather fabric by making lace cravats,” explains Wardrobe Crew member, Frances Clarke

“My favourite thing is seeing all of the really cool costumes and also seeing all the different stages of how a play works. My sister does lighting and sound for the school and it seemed like doing backstage would be really cool but I'm not great at technical stuff so being part of the wardrobe crew was a great opportunity for me. I would really encourage people to give it a go even if you're not into sewing there are a whole variety of things you can help with.”

Wardrobe Crew Members earn Service Points for their efforts and Sophia and Frances along with others, are close to receiving their first service badges.

Wardrobe Crew is the sort of group you can join at any time of the year. There are no sign up fees and you can pick and choose your projects. For more information about the Wardrobe Crew please contact Margot Rawlings, Art Co ordinator on rawlingsm@hghs.school.nz