To raid the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club prop room is the ultimate fantasy for every Harvard theater kid. As a cast member of an upcoming show, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to scout out the best props and costumes the closet has to offer.
The HRDC prop room is rather discreetly hidden in the basement of the Loeb Drama Center. And, walking inside, I am utterly stunned by what I’ve gotten myself into. The door to the prop room separates the mundane material world from the colorful imaginative universe of theatrical art. The room is stuffed and packed with layers and layers of costumes, many of which can were made decades ago.
Although dilapidated body parts, a giant fly trap, and an old-fashioned TV do possess their fair share of wackiness, the prop room’s costumes definitely steal the show. Some of the pieces have been purchased for past HRDC productions, while others were handmade by student costume designers. Below are five of the most interesting costumes I could get my hands on:
Light green Renaissance-style dress:
This period costume was designed for Cherry Jones, who would become a famous Broadway actress. It’s also absurdly heavy.
Brown jacket from “Henry IV” with a hand-drawn design: A costume from one of the older HRDC productions, this piece is a bit heavier and more elaborate than ones we’re used to seeing.
Blue vest made from a yoga mat:
This costume was made for a recent production, and it is literally cut-up pieces of yoga mat sewn together by fishing wire.
Gypsy dress: One of the most well-made and detailed costumes in the prop closet. Every pompom was sewn on by hand.
2008 Lady Gaga-style leather jacket:
Exactly what it sounds like—absolutely awesome.