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Costumes Travel from Minnesota to Wandsworth for The Heiress!

It’s the perfect combination of 19th century dresses and 21st century social media!

Costumes made in Minnesota, USA, are flying the Atlantic to dress the cast of a play being put on by Wandsworth drama group New Stagers from 23 July.  “The Heiress”, a play about love and revenge in 1850s New York, had the group searching high and low for the right dresses until Twitter came to the rescue.

The play’s Director, Patricia Driver, contacted Southwest Minnesota State University after seeing on Twitter that they had put on the same production in April and had made all their own costumes.

Sheila Tabaka, Professor of Theatre at Southwest Minnesota State University, who agreed to lend the group the costumes, said: “I’ve never been to London, but two of my dresses will be going.

“As far as working with the amazing folks at New Stagers, it is truly our honour.  It is another testament to theatre people everywhere.  We are an enthusiastic, resourceful bunch.  When we started taking pictures of the costumes being made and posting them on Twitter, to garner audience attention, we never thought two months later they’d be flying to the UK.

“When Patricia Driver contacted me the immediate answer was ‘Yes’.  Working together on this has been so rewarding and fulfilling.  I only wish I could bring the dresses myself.”

The costumes are being personally delivered by friends of Sheila’s, who are coming to London on holiday.

“The Heiress” is a powerful drama about sexual politics, class and money in 1840s America, a society about to be torn apart by civil war.

Catherine is a plain but highly eligible heiress, courtesy of the fortune she stands to inherit from her father.

Catherine falls for the charm of smooth-talking suitor Morris. But her father won’t allow a marriage, fearing Morris is a low-class gold-digger. The scene is set for a battle of wills between father and daughter.


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