Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Destruction Toll From Fire Just Being Realized

Fire destroys hundreds of costumes for 'Lost Colony' play

The Virginian-Pilot © September 12, 2007

With "The Lost Colony" barely finished wrapping up its 70th season, the theater company faces the loss of many of its historic costumes after a fire early Tuesday destroyed the Irene Rains Costume Shop, its contents and two adjacent buildings.

No one was severely injured, but several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. The buildings were unoccupied.
The Roanoke Island Historical Association, producers of the play, estimated costume losses at $1 million to $2 million. About 70 to 80 percent of the production's costumes were lost, its executive director said.

But William Ivey Long, the show's production designer and a five-time Tony Award-winning Broadway costume designer, said it is nearly impossible to put a value on the collection, which went back seven decades and included 700 costumes used in the show. That's all the colonists' clothes; all the American Indian costumes; all the vintage costumes made by Irene Rains in the 1940s and '50s and by Fred Voelpel in the '60s, '70s and '80s. Not to mention the William Ivey Long collection.

Including those used for doubles and extras, Long said, there were closer to 1,500 to 2,000 costumes lost.

"It's so astonishing," Long said in an interview Tuesday morning from New York City. "It also doesn't include the bolts of fabric we've been stashing upstairs. Or the snaps, the scissors.... I'm still sort of swimming in the enormity of all this."

Full Article Here:


Donations can be made to the Irene Smart Rains Costume Fund  by calling “The Lost Colony” production office at 252-473-2127.  

Help from people who can sew is also welcome.