Posted in Recycle, Repurpose, Thrifting

Theatre Taught Me to Thrift

(This post originally written for the Metrolina Habitat Restore Blog)

I do love vintage items and that has been my primary focus when thrift shopping. However, my introduction to the Metrolina Restore, specifically the one on Wendover in Charlotte where I most often shop, is the fact that I am an independent theatre producer perennially with very little budget for sets. We have to borrow, reuse and recycle and repurpose everything we can–many times from our own houses and friend’s houses- to keep the costs low. But whenever I need building materials for sets and such that I cannot borrow but must purchase-I head to the Restore, cause that’s where the real deals are, people!

 

Sets for theatre, like shows, are many differing styles and time periods defending on the production. The Restore has been a consistent resource for me for all of them. In a show I produced in 2010, The Dixie Swim Club, the set designer thought it would be great to have a sliding glass door on the set of our 1980s beach cottage to allow the characters to have scenes on their patio. This a very sexy set design element that typically I would never have been able to afford, but I put on my positive attitude hat and headed off to the Restore. Positive attitude counts when shopping because luck shined on me that day–all doors, including sliding glass ones, were 50% off–yahoooo! I think I paid $12.50  for my authentic beach house sliding glass door and my crackerjack set team installed it perfectly:

Chandler McIntryre, Tonya Bludsworth and Stephanie DiPaolo in Dixie Swim Club.

 Note the beautiful sliding glass door in the background! Photo taken by Weldon Weaver

 

Well, I have learned a lot in the last two years– the primary thing being that the Restore is NOT just for building materials: furniture, pictures, accessories–they have it all! The upcoming play I am currently producing, Least Likely Friends calls for a very modern New York City apartment set that we are building. Some choice furniture items from the Restore will be getting there moment on the stage yet again.

 

We got 3 of these fantastic lamps silver stick lamps with white shades- they were actually marked down from the listed price when we picked them up:

 

 

Also this snazzola glass and chrome side table that is perfect fits modern NYC apartment life:

 

 

 

And, books. We needed lots o’ books for the built in book shelves on the set. This picture of friendly helpful Restore employee Ashley from Julia’s says it all:

 

 

And we also got a great rug…but more on shopping the Restore’s rugs and carpet remnants (TEASER!) in a not-too-much later post. But, hey, now you’re curious about this theatre show with the cool set and want to know more about THAT, right?! That’s the playwright/ director Tonya Bludsworth in the pic above with Ashley and you can check it all out here: Least Likely Friends Website. We open on June 12, so once it’s all up on stage and set is finalized I’ll do a pictorial update so you can see the Restore items in action!