Halloween Gets Theatrical

Produced by Shane Lueck

Lavender connected with local Twin Cities theaters to create Halloween costume ideas based on some of their upcoming productions or current events circulating around popular culture. Each theater not only created the costumes, but also contributed a “how-to” guide for anyone looking to recreate the looks.


Written by Kelsye Gould for Pillsbury House Theatre
Models: Dustin Bronson (T-Rex), Manny (Pineapple General)

Pillsbury House produced Chicago Avenue Project in which there are plenty of characters for kids and adults alike for Halloween (or just any day you want to dress like a T-Rex). The latest offerings from Pillsbury House Theatre can be found at www.pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org.

Pillsbury-DinoT-Rex
Originally designed by Nathan Christopher
Materials: Foam mattress pad, needle and thread, scissors or utility knife, spray paint, permanent marker, green oven mitts, green shirt, khaki pants
How-to: The dinosaur head and tail are made from an old foam mattress pad that’s hand sewn into shape and spray painted. You can add texture to the foam with a utility knife, and add details such as the eyes with the permanent marker.

Pineapple General
Originally designed by Mandi Johnson
Materials: Old stocking hat, foam cubes, green sheets of crafting foam, toilet paper tube, hot glue gun, yellow spray paint, camo jacket or shirt, cardboard cut-outs of fruit, velcro
How-to: The pineapple hat is made by gluing chunks of foam around the base of an old stocking cap. Spray paint the foam and hat yellow. For the top husk part, cut out long leaf-like strips of crafting foam and use a hot-glue gun to attach them around a toilet paper tube. Glue the husk to the top of the hat. Attach the fruit to the jacket or tee-shirt with Velcro.


Written by Katy McEwen for Brave New Workshop
Models: Lauren Anderson (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and Andy Hilbrands (Matthew McConaughey)

Brave New Workshop created costumes that spoofed Matthew and Ruth as a bit of humor directed at pop culture. The two are favorite characters in the GLBT community this past year thanks to The Dallas Buyers Club and the overturn of DOMA by the Supreme Court of the United States. Although Matthew and Ruth won’t be appearing on stage at Brave New Workshop, audiences can peruse the theater season at www.bravenewworkshop.com.

Matthew-McConaugheyMatthew McConaughey
Left all of your shirts at the cleaners this Halloween? Then this Matthew McConaughey ensemble is the perfect choice for you!  All you need is a vest, a mullet, and an “I just woke up naked on the beach in a pile of Brazilian bikini models” attitude and you’re good to go. Add buttless chaps and a drum circle to take your look to the next level. Alright, alright, alright, indeed.

Judge-Ruth-Bader-GinsburgThe Honorable Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg
If you love freedom and a topknot so tight you’ll be able to see into the future, this Ruth Bader Ginsburg costume will fit the Bill…of Rights! One trip to the “Suffocating Frilly Blouse” section of Savers and a late-night B & E session into your old high school choir room and you’re almost ready to pass swift and righteous judgment. All YOU need to bring to the table is a scathing disdain for stomping on the reproductive rights of women in the name of sweet baby Jesus, and you’re good to go.


Written by Jessica Petrie for the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Models: Alan Post (Leg Lamp), Mike Linnemann (FRAGILE Box), Toby (Pink Bunny)

Modeled after the items in the Ordway’s upcoming holiday production of A Christmas Story: The Musical, the leg lamp and FRAGILE box make for the perfect couple’s costume for a pair with a good sense of humor. Throw in a friendly dog and pink bunny costume and your friends will be shouting, “You’ll shoot your eye out!,” “I double-dog dare you!” and “Fra-gi-le. It must be Italian!”

A-Christmas-StoryFRAGILE Box

  1. Find a large cardboard box and tape one end closed (leave the other end open for the legs).
  2. Cut a hole in the middle of the taped end large enough for your head to fit through. Cut arm holes on either side of the box.
  3. Cover the entire box with Con-Tact paper with a wood grain design. Cut out the paper where you placed the head and arm holes.
  4. Draw straight vertical lines 4-5 inches apart down the length of the box to look like individual boards.
  5. Using stencils, paint on the words “FRAGILE” and “THIS SIDE UP.”

Leg Lamp

  1. Using yellow satin fabric and an “easy” pattern, sew together a basic dress with a flowy skirt. If you don’t have sewing skills, find a simple yellow dress and add triangle panels on either side using fabric glue to make the hem wider.
  2. Measure up 3 inches from the bottom edge of the skirt and sew in a long strip of fabric to act as a tie. Do this around the entire inside of the skirt every 6-8 inches.
  3. Attach black fringe using thread or glue around the bottom of the entire skirt.
  4. Use the ties from Step 2 to secure a hula hoop to the underside of the skirt. If your skirt is larger than the hula hoop, gradually take in the fabric until it fits snugly.
  5. Throw on a pair of black high heels and fishnet stockings.

A Christmas Story: The Musical runs November 29 through December 28 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit www.ordway.org.

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