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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!