Michelle Harrison is a modern day keeper of the faith. As the costume designer on the road with the national tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical she has to make sure that the costumes are kept in the best shape possible and stay true to the Broadway Design.
And even though the story is about a trip across the Australian outback, ith two drag queens and a transsexual as the main characters, that means these costumes have a lot of sparkle and flash.
"My job is not to change anything but to keep the costumes intact," she says. And when something wears out, she recreates it.
Priscilla is coming to the Hobby Center later this month thanks to Theatre Under the Stars and Harrison, a graduate of Stephen F. Austin with a bachelor of arts in Theatre Arts and English, will be there, too. Harrison acted in high school but as time went on in college "I just fell in love working in the costume shop."
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Three months out of college, she got picked up for the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof and since then she's had a steady stream of work that's taken her to foreign countries and across the United States with musicals such as Legally Blonde, Cats and Come Fly Away.
She credits a lot of her success to the SFA program. "I think SFA has an incredible theater program just as good as anywhere in New York," she says. "I had to learn lighting, sets, stage management and directing. Yu have to learn all of it to be able to do one part of it."
It's the attention to detail that goes into each costume in Priscilla that makes them so dramatic, she says. "It's specifics like whether sequins are added or rhinestones."
Priscilla runs September 29 through October 12 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information visit tuts.com or call 713-558-8887.