Stay up to date with every post!


Receive one email a month with links to our most popular DIY, fashion and decor content. Sign up below.

May 31, 2017

Overture! Curtain! Lights!

…Goodwill? Oh, yes, indeed! For those who are Columbia theatre-goers, you have no doubt seen Goodwill items on each and every one of our local stages. It was recently my privilege to direct the farce, Don’t Dress For Dinner, for Workshop Theatre. It was after taking a wide-view picture of our set that I realized just how many items from Goodwill helped us to create a wonderfully posh renovated 1990s farmhouse for not much money at all!


The largest item was a wonderful paisley-ish chair that I swear had a twin in my parents’ den when I was in high school. Once I saw it, I knew this simply had to be on the set. Cost? Seventeen dollars, which gave us a perfect period chair for less than a twenty. Boom!


The two framed pictures by the front door were particularly special to me, as they were the basis of my blog post from several months ago, demonstrating how to inexpensively frame pictures using Goodwill art. ( )
… and here we have Covent Garden Market and the Cathedral Church of St. Cuthbert’s…both for a few dollars and a bit of elbow grease.


As with any farce, our show contained several moments of chaos, often surrounding the bar. These unbreakable melamine glasses proved invaluable as they were dropped, thrown, and otherwise comedically misused. As a testimonial to their strength, one even survived a nightly slam to the floor.


Safe, attractive, and disaster-free for about five bucks.

As for the rest of it? Who can say…as with most arts organizations, we save money where we can, and it’s quite possible that any number of the many props on our set were once on a Goodwill shelf.


Finally, let’s glance at the costumes. Offhand, I can identify four Goodwill garments. Which ones are they?


Well, that’s the point. There’s a lot of great merchandise at Goodwill that’s in new or next-to-new condition. Give us a try, and you’re sure to get a standing ovation!



  1. There are frames galore at Goodwill. If you have some acrylic paints, you can make easy touch ups on any chips and scratches.

  2. What fun! I’ve always wanted to be part of a theater group like this! Love the way you incorporated Goodwill treasures into the set and costumes!

  3. I live in Rock Hill SC and costume for several school drama departments. I ALWAYS go to Goodwill to find incredible costumes. I can make it work and the kids love getting into character. Props and set pieces are easy to find too.

  4. It’s always the Mark of a good community theatre Director to come in well below their budget for a show without compromising the quality of the show! And you, my friend, are a great director! I loved “Don’t Dress For Dinner” everything was on the mark! Keep up the good work!