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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Senior Sharp explores costume design through internship

Senior Rowe Sharp models a dress she made in the fashion show. Sharps experience from her costume design internship at Dads Garage has helped her when making clothes for her fashion class.
Courtesy of Rowe Sharp
Senior Rowe Sharp models a dress she made in the fashion show. Sharp’s experience from her costume design internship at Dad’s Garage has helped her when making clothes for her fashion class.

Weekends for senior Rowe Sharp are filled with creating costumes, assembling outfits and helping performers prepare backstage at Dad’s Garage, a theater company located in Old Fourth Ward. 

Sharp is a costume design intern at Dad’s Garage, which was introduced to her through her dad, Travis Sharp, who has worked there for 23 years in the Ensemble.

“My dad has worked at the theatre for years, and I started going as a guest,” Sharp said. “As I got older, I began volunteering and eventually became an intern. Originally I was looking for just volunteer hours, but as I became more interested, I wanted to have an internship and began asking about openings.”

Sharp has been a part-time intern since April, gaining experience with costume design and helping performers prepare for backstage shows. She has used this experience to help her costume design work within the Midtown costume department.

“For my internship, I help the costume director at the theatre with outfits, sorting clothes, sizing clothes and picking which accessories work best for different outfits,” Sharp said. “Additionally, I help the performers get ready to go on stage.”

Aside from costume design, Sharp’s internship has introduced her to many people in the Atlanta theater community. Interacting with performers and other employees at Dad’s Garage has also helped Sharp overcome some of her social anxiety.

“The most impactful part of my internship has been learning to work with many different people at once,” Sharp said. “I have met some wonderful people at the theater, and it’s a great environment. Additionally, interacting with people has helped me with my social anxiety and made me a more sociable person.”

Dad’s Garage mainly hosts improv shows, which Sharp has had the most experience with, but the theater sometimes puts on scripted productions, as well. Travis Sharp said the main emphasis of all of their shows is to bring enjoyment.

“Dad’s Garage is all about laughter,” Travis Sharp said. “Though we do all kinds of shows, laughter is always at the heart. Many of our shows are built on improv, but we also produce original scripted plays and musicals, sketches and some unique shows that combine scripted and improvised theatre.”

Travis Sharp works with other members to create and perform the shows the theater produces. He said one of the most important impacts of Dad’s Garage is on the Atlanta community, as it provides a space for learning and joy.

“Dad’s Garage seeks to change people, communities and perspectives through laughter,” Travis Sharp said. “That starts with creating a space where Atlantans can come and laugh together. We also teach the skills of improv to people who want to perform, but also to people who can apply those techniques to improve their career or relationships.”

Travis Sharp said the company’s community is focused on working together and listening to each other’s ideas, which has contributed to its accepting community.

“It’s a radically collaborative community,” Travis Sharp said. “The basic building block of improv is ‘yes, and…’ First, you have to accept your partner’s idea, and then build on it. When your team works from this principle, the results can be amazing and hilarious. When you’re working there, your ideas never get shut down or swept under the carpet. People say ‘yes’ to ideas, even if they sound ridiculous.”

Sharp’s internship has become a way to bond with her dad. For Travis Sharp, sharing the community of Dad’s Garage has been a rewarding experience.

“There’s something so gratifying about working with your kid, not as a parent, but as a peer,” Travis Sharp said. “I love the way she’s embraced the work, and the way she’s accepted and supported at the theatre.”

At Dad’s Garage, Sharp has enjoyed working specifically on improv shows. For Sharp, these shows allow her the most creativity and room for expression, she said.

“My favorite production I have worked on is Improvised D&D,” Sharp said. “The costumes and makeup are super fun, and there is a lot to work with. Additionally, the show is very popular and brings in a good crowd.”

Sharp has been able to connect her experience from her internship through her work in the costume design class. Senior Madeleine Brandhorst works with Sharp in the class and said she enjoys working with her.

“I’ve always wanted to make clothes, and I wanted to combine that with theater, so I joined costume,” Brandhorst said. “I’m really close with Rowe, so we do a lot together, and we help each other in costume class.”

Sharp has been able to improve her time management skills, as well as bring her experience from her internship to the Midtown theater department, through her work designing clothes in the costume design class. 

“Interning at the theater has helped with my time management and social skills,” Sharp said. “This internship has connected to what I do at school because both involve creating outfits that tell a story and engage the audience.”

Brandhorst said Sharp’s experience has allowed her to become more attentive to certain decisions within costume design and how they impact the audience.

“I think the internship has made her more appreciative of the tiny details that go into making a design that really reflects what the play or production is trying to tell the audience,” Brandhorst said.

For Travis Sharp, sharing the experience and the role of theater in young people’s lives is important. 

“The standard answer is ‘It allows young people to be exposed to new perspectives and ideas,’’’ Travis Sharp said. “But that’s not my answer. Theatre is shared magic. Being in person and sharing a live experience with others can be bonding, transformative and a lot of fun.

In the future, Sharp said she hopes to continue her involvement in the theater. After she graduates, Sharp plans to go to college but is undecided on her major. However, she believes her experience as an intern will help in the future, no matter what field she goes into.

“I’m planning on keeping this internship until I go to college, and depending on whether or not I stay in state, I may try to continue having a role at the theater,” Sharp said. “This internship has given me important skills that I can use for the rest of my life, and it has taught me a lot about costuming and clothes.”


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Emma Young
Emma Young, Social Media Managing Editor
Emma Young is a senior and this is her third year writing for the Southerner. When she's not writing, she is playing lacrosse or hanging out with friends.

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