Around the Island

Shelter Island School’s musical rehearsals: Ready? Sets! Costumes!

Nick Labrozzi as Agatha Trunchbull in costume (Credit: Charity Robey).

UPDATE: To take precautions against the spread of the coronavirus, School Superintendent Brian Doleger said Thursday that the opening night of the school play later this month will most likely be cancelled, but there are dates later in the spring that are being considered.

The tacky flamingo wallpaper that seems to vibrate behind Zeb Mundy (Matilda’s father) as he throws her book across the living room, the way the pleats of the school uniforms flash as the children dance, and the book-lined library, a refuge of learning; these are the costumes and sets coming together to support the songs and the dances of “Matilda.” 

Sewing, sawing and singing has moved into high gear. With all cylinders firing, the show is coming together in a very exciting way.

A warning inside and fear outside the school gates in Matilda.

On the sets, “the big construction is done,” said director John Kaasik. “I’m still deciding on backdrops and props.” 

Most of this year’s costumes were made by Julia Brennan, with a bit of help from some folks she recruited and taught to handle a bobbin. An enormous project, it included intricately-folded many-pleated school uniforms (each with the actor’s name sewn inside), a set of bloomers for all the girls, shorts for the boys and the masterpiece — a trenchcoat for Agatha Trunchbull that gives new meaning to the word double-breasted.

With several other costumes reworked from costumes of previous shows, the fitting and altering is significant and ongoing. “We have a lot of different choices, so we try things out during rehearsals. If it looks like it works, we go with it,” said John.

Nick Labrozzi as Agatha Trunchbull in costume.