When the list of winners for the Army Festival of Performing Arts was released a few weeks ago, Steve Walpert said he was not surprised when he saw Moon Over Buffalo costume designer Michele Hattman had taken first.
"I spoke to the judges after the show and they were absolutely impressed with the costumes," said Mr. Walpert, Fort Gordon's entertainment director.
"Costumes are so important to set the overall visual tone of a play. A lot of people take them for granted."
In Moon Over Buffalo, the play's tone was difficult to set because it actually is three plays in one. Set in the 1950s, the story is about a group of actors who performed two plays, Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives, within the show.
"All of these costumes worked independently and together to create the look of the ensemble," Mr. Walpert said.
Mr. Walpert has worked with Ms. Hattman for many years. She also handles costuming for other performing arts groups in Augusta such as Storyland Theatre and the Augusta Opera.
"I can't even remember how long we've worked together," Mr. Walpert said. "Through all that time, she's been nothing but a dream to work with."
Mr. Walpert said Ms. Hattman is conscientious about the costumes she chooses for shows.
"She won't just settle for any dress of the period. Each costume makes a statement," he said.
Ms. Hattman has been the costume manager at Fat Man's for about 20 years.
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