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Frederickson into the woods

Lynnea Frederickson sews a costume piece for “Into the Woods.”

FOREST CITY — Stitch by stitch, Lynnea Fredrickson could be sewing up a full-time job in theater.

Fredrickson is designing and sewing the costumes for BrickStreet Theatre’s production of “Into the Woods,” which will be presented at July 14-17 in Forest City.

“I’d like to do costume design and set building at a professional level. That would be ideal,” Fredrickson said.

“This is a resume builder. It’s the first time I’ve taken on a huge project from start to finish by myself.”

Huge indeed. Frederickson will design and sew 34 character costumes with about 159 total pieces such as hats and capes.

Most community theaters rent or borrow costumes. When Frederickson learned Dan May had planned “Into the Woods” for BrickStreet’s summer musical, she knew she wanted a role in it. Just not on stage.

Frederickson just completed a theater master’s program at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She designed the “Into the Woods” costumes as a thesis project.

Frederickson chose a Scandinavian theme for the costumes. Swedish painter Carl Larsson was an inspiration.

North Iowa has a rich connection to the Scandinavian culture with many residents of Norwegian and Swedish descent, she said.

“I wanted a to find a way to connect (the audience) to the costumes,” Frederickson said. “Once I latched onto that, it was easy.”

The designing and sewing had gone well, but it wasn’t without its challenges.

Frederickson designed a pattern and sewed a tuxedo jacket for 6-foot-6 Andy Swyter, who plays Cinderella’s prince.

“Andy was skeptical, but it fit,” Frederickson said.

Frederickson is also on a budget. She scoured thrift stores for bed sheets and table cloths she could transform into dresses, vests and pants.

She did, however, get one special piece of fabric from China. The light fabric is for the witch’s costume.

“It starts at the top as white, and by the time it’s at her feet, it’s black,” Frederickson said. “I think it will look phenomenal.”

Rae Yost is editor of the Forest City Summit, another Lee Enterprises newspaper.


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