Olney Theatre Center believes that arts education plays an essential role in our nation’s cultural health. That’s why in addition to our arts integration program, we offer apprenticeships. The apprenticeship program is a year long experience intended to offer emerging theater artists a bridge between university and the profession. For one year, 16 apprentices live and work on OTC’s campus in every facet of the organization. Meet one of our Costume apprentices, Elizabeth Morton!
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
What is the path that brought you to OTC?
I knew I wanted to do a costume apprenticeship post-grad to help me adjust to the professional theatre world and further cultivate my skills as a costumer. By happenstance, only a couple months before graduation I found myself working over-hire at Folger (on Winter’s Tale), and met Seth Gilbert, the costume design supervisor here at Olney. We started talking and he encouraged me to apply for the program. Less than a week later, I had interviewed and been offered the apprenticeship, and after a last minute visit to the campus, I accepted! It was a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on Elf the Musical as part of the wardrobe crew. It’s a fast-moving, technically complex show and I love the daily challenge it brings, and how much I’ve been able to apply the wardrobe skills I’ve developed over the last 6 months.
In addition to Elf the Musical, because we don’t have much to do in the shop until January (when we start building for Once), our supervisor Melissa is putting on various skills workshops for us costume apprentices. This week we’re experimenting with dye, and we have plans to explore suit tailoring, principles of design, and more before the holiday season is over!
What is something you are looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the spring season and all the interesting, lesser-known shows OTC is producing. I’m particularly excited about Oil— I love new works!
What are you planning to do for your Capstone?
I will be assistant costume designing Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors. Seth, one of my supervisors in the costume shop is designing it, and I’m really excited to work with him in this new capacity!
What's special about Olney Theatre Center?
My time at Olney has been marked by a wonderful amount of support and love, from fellow apprentices, supervisors, and a myriad of other staff members. OTC fosters a healthy learning environment for us apprentices, and feels like a community and a home.
Why do you do theatre?
The simple answer is because I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I love the way theatre combines so many different disciplines and types of people to collaborate on one cohesive piece of art. More broadly, theatre has the power to ignite viewers in a way I’ve found no other art form can. The emphatic, personal, and sometimes uncomfortable nature of theatre has the incredible power to communicate, interrogate, and transform. I just want to keep contributing to it in any way that I can.