Welcome to the MGR Playhouse Spotlight! In these posts, you’ll learn about the numerous employees who create the shows you see in Auburn, and all over New York State! Each week, there will be new posts regarding our technical, production, and artistic employees. This week, I sat down with C.M. Taylor, a second-season Festival stitcher who always knows how to make our casts sparkle! In our interview, we discussed her “collection” of hobbies, her passion for all things artistic, and her upcoming move to Chicago!
Name: Colleen “C.M.” Taylor
Where you’re from: I was born in Montour Falls, NY but I grew up in couple different towns on the eastern shore of Maryland with a short year outside of Baltimore. After graduating high school, I moved with my mom to her hometown of Elmira and I attended the State University of New York University at Buffalo.
Job Title: Stitcher (currently featured in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
Previous MGR Experience: I was a stitcher last year at MGR and couldn’t wait to come back this year! (Previous Festival credits: 2016’s Treasure Island, Crazy for You, From Here to Eternity, and Oklahoma!, and 2017’s Guys and Dolls, Parade, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).
Previous Theatre Experience: Before exclusively pursuing theatrical costuming, I did whatever technical work needed to be done in my high school’s drama club. I worked as a shop assistant all throughout college with one memorable semester of designing the Musical Theatre Department’s production of Les Misérables. I’ve had costume shop/wardrobe internships at the Hangar Theatre and the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre and in between my time with MGR, I worked as a stitcher and wardrobe crew member with the Portland Stage Company.
Favorite Part of Your Job: I’ve always been a very crafty and hands-on person. For me, the draw to making costumes is the feeling of accomplishment when I get to take flat, 2-D pieces of fabric, or whatever material what I’m working with, and put them together to make something that’s never existed before. When a designer and an actor love what I’ve made for them, it’s a very good feeling and that’s what I always hope for in this career.
Favorite Musicals or Plays: My favorite musical will always, always, always be My Fair Lady. I’m not as well-read with plays but I can’t resist a classic Greek tragedy like Oedipus.
Someone at MGR You Admire: Can I pick the entire Company Management team? I’ve been blessed with great company managers at all my jobs and I honestly just don’t know how they do it. Jess and Tabitha do so much for the company and they do it with a professionalism and cheer that I think is amazing.
Hobbies and Free Time: Hobbies? Oh goodness. Sometimes I joke about collecting hobbies but the ones that have stuck with me the longest are drawing (I graduated with a minor in Studio Art), watching Britcoms and movies (I have a habit of finding weird but good indie movies on Netflix), photography, reading, and browsing antique shops.
What You Love Most About Being in the Finger Lakes: During my first two summers back in New York, my mom and I made weekend trips to as many Finger Lake towns as we could and honestly, I just love how pretty the area is. I love the lakes, I love the hills, and I love being a tourist here.
What You’d Like to Do Next: After MGR, I’m taking a chance and moving to Chicago to continue working as a theatrical costumer!
We have been very fortunate to have the talented Colleen return to the Festival for a second season, and we hope to have her here for many more to come! We wish her the utmost luck in her big move to Chicago, and hope she’ll be back soon to lend more of her unique costuming vision. Check out her Instagram @cmtaylor_art for more behind the scenes exclusives, from the costume shop and beyond! Be sure to see all of Colleen’s beautiful stitch work in FLMTF’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, running now through August 23 at the Preston H. Thomas Theatre in the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse! Thanks for reading.