Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC), the region’s only fully-professional theatre, has turned the skills of its costume shop towards mask-making in a creative approach to sustain theatre jobs and supply masks as Salt Lake and Summit Counties announce their masked mandate.
“We agree we need to get the city back on its feet, and support the mayors’ face mask requirements in Salt Lake and Summit Counties,” notes Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, “but we all know by now that in-person theatre will be one of the later industries to come back to life, at least in the way it’s traditionally been produced.”
“Lost in the discussion about how to provide extra funding to businesses navigating a slow economy is what happens to the employees of the industries that are completely shut down? Over the year, we employ hundreds of theatre professionals, who cut, nail, sew, paint, engineer – and unlike some of our community theatres, this is their full-time, benefitted profession. We need to find ways to bring them back to work as we wait for live theatre to return.”
“We’re used to selling dates and seats, not things,” says PTC Marketing Director Kirsten Park, “so it has required a modification of our processes to securely sell items online that aren’t tickets. We figured it out and have successfully been shipping out, and even hand-delivering, masks all over Salt Lake City and even across the country!”
PTC’s website offers a variety of pre-selected prints and fabrics from their costume shop inventory but can also accommodate special requests and custom orders. The masks are the pleated version, with earloops, pockets for a removable filter and a nose wire if one chooses. Masks can be selected in small, medium and large.
Future offerings may include “bring your own fabric” or offering fabrics used from costume inventory for people who want to recognize their favorite productions.
Masks sell for $15 each, with a $3.50 shipping and handling fee, and the price per mask goes down with batched orders.