Eastern Michigan University Theatre students and faculty turn costume shop materials into masks for frontline workers

Rosie Coryell making masks
Rosie Coryell and other EMU Theatre students have been making fabric masks to donate to area hospitals and others in need.

YPSILANTI —The performing stage is the ultimate venue for seeing and creating interesting outfits and all forms of clothing, so it seems natural that students from the Eastern Michigan University Theatre have been hard at work turning materials from the theatre’s costume shop into cloth masks to donate to hospitals and those in need.

cloth face masks
Hundreds of fabric masks have been made by EMU Theatre students.

Madeleine Huggins, the EMU theatre costume shop supervisor, is organizing the efforts and also handles the delivery of supplies to the students and faculty to create the masks.

"At the beginning of University lockdown, posts were starting to appear from hospitals requesting help with the shortage of face masks,” Huggins said. “I decided to help with this by getting fabric and elastic from the EMU theatre costume shop to supply students, staff, and faculty with materials to create the face masks. The masks have been donated to hospitals, essential workers, and others in need.”

As part of the efforts, Melanie Schuessler Bond, an EMU professor of costume design, has created 11 masks, three head covers and two throat covers from the materials, which all benefited the Infectious Disease ICU Unit of the University of Michigan Hospital. Huggins has made a dozen masks.

Rosemary Coryell, Ryan Hendy, and Sarah Gunter, costume shop technicians, have made more than 200 masks combined. Katie and Kira Hopgood, the wife and daughter, respectively, of EMU Scene Design faculty Jeromy Hopgood, have made approximately 80 masks, all of which have been donated to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Systems.

This initiative is just one of many ways in which EMU is working to help local communities during the health crisis. Those efforts include additional mask production, help with hospital laundry, opening University housing to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital workers and working at area COVID-19 drive-through testing sites.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 06, 2020

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark