Clarence Brown Costume Shop Makes Masks For UT Medical Center

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Clarence Brown Costume Shop Makes Masks For UT Medical Center

To respond to their need for personal protective equipment on the COVID-19 front lines, the Clarence Brown Theatre Costume Shop has begun making masks for UT Medical Center.

Aware of the shortage of masks, costumer and sewing forums throughout the country put out a call to help. To ease the shortage locally, the CBT Costume Shop--with support from the Theater administration--developed and implemented a process for making the masks.

Created from a pattern based on internet research, the masks are constructed with quilters cotton and muslin left over from unused fabric purchased to create costumes for productions this past CBT season. The masks are intended for medical professionals and non-medical staff who are not "frontline workers," but whose day-to-day work involves intermingling with the public.

"Our hope is that these masks will help to save on the stock of surgical masks and N95 masks for those who need them most," said Kyle Schellinger, Costume Shop Cutter/Draper.

Participating in the project are Melissa Caldwell-Weddig, Elizabeth Aaron, Kyle Schellinger, Amber Williams, Margo Birdwhistell, John Merritt and Lauren Roark. Since beginning the project on March 23rd, they have created more than 200 masks.

While working from home and practicing social distancing, they have created a plan for the creation of the masks.

"Kyle Schellinger cuts out the materials and makes kits which are then picked up from a CBT drop off area by the other members of the "CBT Mask Squad," said Melissa Caldwell-Weddig, Costume Shop Manager.

According to Dr. Heidi Goodrich-Blair, the David and Sandra White Professor and Head of Microbiology, who coordinated the placement of university drop off boxes placed throughout campus, the masks will be then picked up and taken to UT Medical Center.

"We are proud and pleased to be able to serve and assist our medical community," said Tom Cervone, managing director of the Clarence Brown Theatre, "and hopefully add a bit of fashion along the way."

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