Student leads costume work for 'Doll's House'

costume workSewing machines have been whirring for weeks in preparation for SUNY Oswego’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” opening Feb. 29 in the Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. 

Audiences will not see Katie Ahearn on stage, but they will definitely see the student costume designer’s work. Ahearn is a senior theatre major at SUNY Oswego with a concentration in technical theatre.  She has been working hard to bring this show to life, spending 20 to 25 hours in the costume shop during a regular week and up to 40 hours during a tech week.

Ahearn chose colors, fabrics and styles after exhaustive research on the characters and the time period. Working with a team of students, Ahearn developed the costumes that best suit the characters and the plot of this once-controversial play.

“The part of this process that is the most fun is probably the end,” Ahearn said. “There is such a sense of accomplishment and pride that I feel when I see the clothes that I designed so carefully; the designs that the costume shop and I so diligently worked on to build or alter. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s awesome.”

Ahearn picked up an interest in theatre early, first appearing on stage as a bunny in a fourth-grade production of “Snow White.” “As I got older, I found that I enjoyed the technical side of theatre more then the acting,” she said. “Occasionally I’ll show my face on stage, but I much prefer to be working on a show or running crew.

She has been working behind the scenes in the theatre department at SUNY Oswego and hopes to continue working in theatre upon graduation. She says that staying organized and knowing limits are some of the most important things when it comes to staying stress-free while trying to balance costume design and schoolwork.

There will be many opportunities to see Ahearn’s work and to watch “A Doll’s House,” starting with a preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in Waterman Theatre with all seats priced at $5.

Additional 8 p.m. performances will be offered Feb. 29 and March 1, 7 and 8, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 9. Tickets for the regular run cost $12 ($10 for seniors and children, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

A high school matinee is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 5. Teachers wishing to bring their students should e-mail Tyler box office at Tickets for this special show are $7 per student with complimentary tickets to chaperones.

For reservations or more information, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

For evening and weekend events at SUNY Oswego, visitors may park in any campus lot free of charge.

- END -

PHOTO CAPTION: Fitting work—Katie Ahearn, a SUNY Oswego senior theatre major, is in charge of period costuming for the college’s upcoming theatre production of “A Doll’s House.” “There is such a sense of accomplishment and pride that I feel when I see the clothes that I designed so carefully” appear in the finished production, said Ahearn, here working on a dress in Tyler Hall’s costume shop.

CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Feb 25, 2008)