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Parade Costumes: From Sketches to the Stage

Costume designer Lindsay Pape officially join the Omaha Community Playhouse staff as resident costume designer in the Fall of 2017 and hit the ground running with Stupid F@#%ing Bird. She now takes on a completely different production, the historical musical Parade. Set in Georgia in 1913, Parade dramatizes the real trial of Jewish businessman Leo Frank for the alleged murder of young Mary Phagan.

The most important thing to remember when working on costumes for a show like this? Lindsay says they will be inspired by the time period, but not exact historical recreations. They must suggest the time of the show but be flexible for the needs of performers.

Lindsay was kind enough to offer some additional commentary on the designing process for this show: 


November 2017
  • Director Jeff Horger begins research and creates a costume plot detailing all characters, what scenes they’re in and what costumes they require
  • Lindsay tests out various patterns for items to be built.

December 2017

  • Lindsay and Jeff meet to discuss costume concepts. Lindsay creates small, general renderings (sketches).
  • Casting is finalized on December 13th, allowing Lindsay to create more specific renderings for each character.
  • Actors come in to have measurements taken.
  • Shoes, suits, dress shirts, etc. are pulled from OCP costume storage.
  • Construction begins on pieces built in-house.

January 2018

  • Specialty fabric and uniforms ordered online.
  • Actors come in for fittings.
  • Construction continues on built pieces as pulled/purchased pieces are altered.
  • Costumes finalized for actors involved in the promotional photo shoot.

February 2018

  • Final touches and alterations on all costumes.
  • Costumes integrated into production during tech week.
  • Parade opens February 9th.


  • Actors: 24
  • Total costumes: 39 + a contemporary outfit for each actor
  • Uniforms for guards and civil war soldiers were ordered from C&C Sutlery out of Idaho.
  • Though authentic, vintage clothing exists from the early 1900’s, theatrical productions rarely use these items because they are too fragile to survive multiple weeks of performances.
  • The exception in this production is the robe Judge Roan wears that is from 1911.
  • Lindsay’s favorite piece in the show that was purchased is Luther Rosser’s seer sucker suit.
  • She could not pick a favorite piece that was constructed for this show, but adores all of Lucille Frank’s pieces.
  • Biggest challenge with the costumes for Parade: Getting the uniforms from the manufacturer. Thank goodness for rush ordering and great customer service!
See these phenomenal costumes in person at Parade playing February 9-March 11 in OCP’s Howard Drew Theatre. Ticket information here