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Bravo! Kingsfords costume actors for Bob Jones Theatre

Clark and Shari Kingsford volunteer to construct costumes for theatrical productions by Bob Jones High School Drama Department. Currently, they're planning for "In the Heights," the 2015 spring musical. (CONTRIBUTED)
Clark and Shari Kingsford volunteer to construct costumes for theatrical productions by Bob Jones High School Drama Department. Currently, they’re planning for “In the Heights,” the 2015 spring musical. (CONTRIBUTED)

The dress for "The Ash Girl," loosely based on "Cinderella," has been the most challenging sewing project for Shari Kingsford while helping with Bob Jones productions. (CONTRIBUTED)
The dress for “The Ash Girl,” loosely based on “Cinderella,” has been the most challenging sewing project for Shari Kingsford while helping with Bob Jones productions. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Clark and Shari Kingsford’s creative knack shines during theatrical productions at Bob Jones High School.

Shari first helped with sewing when youngest daughter Kendall, now 20, was involved in Bob Jones drama department. “But in 2011, I began designing and constructing costumes for Dwayne Craft,” Shari said.

Kendall graduated from Bob Jones in 2012. She performed in “Footloose,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Guys and Dolls” (she also choreographed) and “The Drowsy Professor.” Their children Kimberly, 30, and Brendan, 25, also are Bob Jones alumni.

“Helping out Kendall was what motivated me. Then Mr. Craft asked me to do it full time,” Shari said. She has completed numerous sewing classes. In Texas, she worked on costuming projects for her church’s road shows.

“Shari is a visionary. I’m always so in awe of her gifts. Clarke has done incredible work alongside her this year with all of the Steam Punk accessories,” drama teacher Mary Davis said. (Loosely associated with science fiction, Steam Punk costumes feature unexpected household gadgets and hardware.)

“The drama department gives kids a sense of place and purpose,” Shari said. “The costume girls really care about the kids and learn about themselves … that they can be leaders.”

Shari and Clark also have found that costuming is a fulfilling pastime. “Working with Dwayne Craft and Mary Davis is such a fun, learning experience,” Shari said.

One of Shari’s favorite projects was the dress for “The Ash Girl.” Shari hand-dyed the garment in ombré. “I love how it came out,” she said.

“The most difficult (work) I’ve ever done was ‘The Wizard of Oz’ costumes,” Shari said. “The characters are all really well known, but I wanted to make them more original, less familiar. They turned out great.”

Currently, the Kingsfords are planning for cast’s costumes for “In the Heights,” Bob Jones’ 2015 musical. The cast’s clothing must reflect the diverse, eclectic demographic of Washington Heights in New York City.

The Kingsfords moved to Madison in January 2002 with Clark’s job offer with The Boeing Company.

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