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October 7, 2013

Wild finds at theater’s costume sale

Derby Dinner Playhouse clears out clothing, prop archives


 Erica Wright said the coat she had just purchased was “hideous,” then she laughed in satisfaction at the unique find.

Wright, Jeffersonville, was one of more than 100 people who went looking for a deal at Derby Dinner Playhouse’s costume, clothing and prop sale Saturday.

Wright had found the coat, which appeared to be made out of canvas that had been spraypainted yellow, large, shiny buttons and a collection of braided ropes placed near its neckline.

While the coat won’t make it into Wright’s normal clothing rotation, she said it could be perfect for spending Halloween as Austin Powers, the often helpless spy played by Mike Myers in the comedic movie franchise.

Derby Dinner Playhouse holds the sale about every other year as a way to reduce its collection of wardrobes that have accumulated from shows performed at the theater venue.

The company’s costume designer, Sharon Murray Harrah, pointed to three large semi-trailers parked on the property near the sale that she said were stuffed full of costumes.

“Everything we have here has been worn in some show,” Harrah said. “We have so much stuff, to the point I can hardly look at.”

Derby Dinner Playhouse’s overstock means people like Wright can find just the right element for a Halloween costume.

Harrah said she had sold earlier in the day a white fur suit, coconut bra, several poodle skirts and a pair of purple chaps. But not all the items were that extraordinary. The majority of the clothing was stylish, vintage and contemporary women’s clothing.

Harrah oversaw the sale of clothing outside, while inside a small warehouse, Lee Buckholz, the theater’s associate producer, sold a wide array of furniture and zany props.

“This is a great way for us to communicate with the public, and it also give us an opportunity to sort of get rid of a lot of stuff we just don’t have space to store,” Buckholz said.

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