Chanel came through our talent development programme and is now studying to be a costume maker and working with the costumes for our Mischief Festival.
Chanel was a student at Bradford College in 2018. She already knew she wanted a career in costume, but so far hadn’t had many opportunities to explore it.
She said: “I was almost discouraged from the arts at school and pushed towards the sciences more, because that’s where the good jobs would be."
Her teacher heard about our Next Generation programme and put Chanel forward for it. Each year our Next Generation Backstage gives gifted young people from communities that experience structural disadvantage the opportunity to gain experience and explore whether a career in the theatre is for them.
She was accepted onto the programme and found herself working with a group on staging a scene from Twelfth Night. The group was given a brief by the director then they sourced costumes from the Costume Store, measured and fitted actors, made embellishments and carried out alterations.
"It was really wonderful! It was my first moment of creative freedom with a costume. I got to try my own vision."
After studying Art and Design at college, Chanel applied to study Costume with Textiles at the University of Huddersfield. She’s currently working as part of our Running Wardrobe Team at The Other Place on two plays for this year's Mischief Festival: Ivy Tiller: Vicar's Daughter, Squirrel Killer and O, Island!
The job involves maintaining and laundering all the costumes for the show, making sure actors feel comfortable in their costumes, making any alterations required and helping actors with quick changes, where they get out of one costume and into the next one very quickly during a show. The team also uses detailed paperwork to document all costume and all costume changes throughout the show.
Chanel said: "You have to be really on top of it – it’s so easy to miss something, like an earring or a badge. And you have to keep up with any changes that are made to the production that affect the costumes and make sure they are all recorded."