Press release from Flat Rock Playhouse:
Flat Rock Playhouse Production Manager, Adam Goodrum was recently alerted to a thread on an industry forum from an Oklahoma hospital seeking seamstresses to sew cloth face masks to combat the coronavirus shortage. The theatre forum was sharing a Facebook post from officials at Stillwater Medical Center in Oklahoma looking for volunteers willing to “use up their fabric stashes.” The hospital shared a pattern online and instructions that the masks must be four layers of fabric for filtering and be adjustable. They also assured that the masks would not be used by healthcare providers dealing with COVID – 19 but by non-clinical personnel and other worried patients in the hospital. The donated fabric masks would allow that the N95 masks to be reserved for use by the caregivers on the frontlines of the battle.
The coronavirus has completely shuttered the theatre industry nationwide. Professional theatres, community theatres, and even Broadway houses sit dark for the foreseeable future, yet, industry professionals in costume shops across the country shared the Medical Center’s post and then sprang into action. The Playhouse was inspired and recognized an opportunity to help out a little closer to home. The Playhouse reached out to Playhouse Development Consultant, Kim Hinkelman who reached out to Amy Treece at Pardee – UNC Healthcare and Advent Health Foundation Director and Playhouse Trustee, Sherri Holbert, both of whom responded that they would love to have additional face masks. Ashli Arnold, Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager got to work washing fabric and threading up the machines. Assisting Ashli are various staff members whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. The team continues to work, separated by six-feet or more, in the recently vacated dressing rooms.
Flat Rock Playhouse is proud to be able to help make an impact during this worldwide crisis and encourages other theatres or seamstresses to get involved if able. For tips and guidelines for donating, please visit getusppe.org/makers/.