Main Street Theater Donates Fabric to Local Costume Designer Making Masks for Medical Workers

By: Apr. 02, 2020

Main Street Theater Donates Fabric to Local Costume Designer Making Masks for Medical Workers

Donna Southern Schmidt, a local, professional costume designer who works regularly with MST as well as other Houston theaters, has found a way to make good use of her forced hiatus by sewing masks for medical workers. But these are not ordinary masks. She's using fabric remnants from plays she designed for Main Street Theater (MST).

MST gave Ms. Schmidt the fabric to use for as many masks as she could make. Since March 27, she has made 23 masks and delivered them to LBJ Hospital in Harris County. As of April 2, she was cutting out the patterns to make another 25 masks and enlisting other designers and sewers to help. The goal is 200. The masks are colorful and uplifting, coming from plays like The Wizard of Oz and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. The Oz masks are from the fabric of the Scarecrow and Flying Monkeys' costumes - not your everyday hospital gear.

"Donna is a brilliant designer but she is also a community builder, and this is totally something I would expect her to do," shared MST Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden. "We are honored to have a small part in her efforts, and we know the hospital workers are very grateful for all Donna is doing." Ms. Schmidt is also the Manager of Houston's Costume Connection, a warehouse collaborative started by Main Street Theater and The Ensemble Theatre for arts groups to share resources and rent costumes for productions.

Ms. Schmidt's extensive costume design credits include Main Street Theater: The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium, Jackie & Me (2019), The Book of Will, Schoolhouse Rock, Live (Tour), Pinkalicious The Musical, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook (Tour), A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Wizard of Oz; A.D.Players, resident costume designer for 25 years; numerous productions including Charlotte's Web, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Shadowlands, Stuart Little, Thumbelina, The Diary of Anne Frank, Anastasia, The Fantasticks, Angel Street, Beauty and the Beast, The Importance of Being Earnest, Joyful Noise, The Odyssey, Charlie's Aunt, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Alice in Wonderland, The Beams Are Creaking, Curious Savage, Winnie the Pooh, Anne of Green Gables, A Cardboard Christmas, The Jungle Book, Emma, The Hero Squad vs The World's Angriest Cow, Anne of Avonlea, Winslow Boy, Pride and Prejudice; Express Children's Theatre: The Yellow Boat, Arabian Nights, To Africa With Love, African Delight, Pablo's Wonderous Wishes; InterActive Theater Company: Around the World in 80 Days; The Days and Nights of King Arthur; Actor's Workshop: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Louisiana Tech University: The Music Man.

She studied at Louisiana Tech University as well as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Her website is


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