Painted sky blue and white, a spacious room on the second floor of the Pendragon Theatre, tucked up under a sloping ceiling, overflows with piles of multi-colored fabrics and scattered assortments of hats, shoes, feather boas, scarves, cloaks, dresses, pants and shirts.
This place is to Kent Streed what a palette is to a painter. For, from this extraordinary collection of many-hued odds and ends, Kent, a skillful artist, designs and produces his elaborate creations.
These fabrications take the form of period costumes mostly made for the Pendragon’s performers, though sometimes created for other area theatrical productions as well.
Kent’s cheerful space, lit by two south-facing windows and four dropped ceiling lights, is equipped with a large 5-by7- foot cutting table, four sewing machines, multiple tissue paper patterns in boxes on the floor, on the counters and pinned to the walls, four mannequins, ironing boards, racks, counters and shelves.
The floor, covered with brightly colored scraps of fabric, cast off by Kent as he continually moves from one task to another, resembles a sunny wildflower garden in full bloom.
In this behind-the-scenes workshop, Kent puts in 12-hour days, using his knowledge and imagination to create costumes that lend credibility to the stage characters. Hired as Pendragon’s fulltime designer, he, along with everyone except the volunteer ushers, receives a paycheck. It is a professional theatre, and putting on quality performances is costly. Kent is not sure people always understand this.