Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stars & Stripes: All the base is a stage for Shakespeare at Misawa

All the Air Force Base is a Stage for Shakespeare at Misawa Japan

By Jennifer H. Svan, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Tuesday, February 13, 2007

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — With less than a week before the curtain opens on the Misawa Theater Guild’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” Natalie Bilger has a lot of stitches to sew."

Not only is Bilger, 25, directing the Shakespeare play, she’s also the show’s seamstress, in charge of designing and sewing more than 20 Renaissance-era costumes.

Senior Airman Nathaniel Parry stars as Romeo, while Victoria Benson, a student at Edgren High School, plays Juliet.

Juliet’s costume, a green and yellow floor-length gown with a matching bodice, is almost finished, taking Bilger about a day and a half to complete. Bilger, a stay-at-home mom and wife of Staff Sgt. Joseph Bilger, said she’s a stickler for details, basing her costumes off of Renaissance patterns she orders from the Internet and altering them to fit the period.

Bilger said she learned to sew at 16 when she “accidentally” was put into a clothing design class in high school. She’s not sure seamstresses are a dying breed, she said, but a lot of people tell her, “I wish I knew how to sew.”

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