Southern Indiana native Shana Lincoln has been a “theater fiend” since she began acting in plays in middle school, and now at 30, working behind the scenes has become her lifestyle. Lincoln does costume design and draping for various theater companies and plays across the country.
It was through Lincoln’s high school theater group at North Harrison that she found her calling. “Mainly, it was because I knew how to operate a sewing machine, so I was the de facto costume person,” she says.
After high school, Lincoln attended Vincennes for costume design and decided she was finished after only a year. “The entire department was constantly bickering,” she says. “It was a very negative environment, and I asked one of my professors, ‘Is it going to be like this in the real world?’ and they told me ‘Yes.’ Then I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna do something else.’”
Soon she was back home at IU Southeast pursuing another interest: the library. Her journey to a master’s in library science was cut short after Lincoln landed a role in the IUS production of “Nunsense.” The graduate program in theater at Ohio University was Lincoln’s next step to becoming a nationally recognized costume designer. She soon got work with theater companies in Santa Fe and Chatham, Mass., at the Monomoy Theatre.
Just this year, Lincoln helped design costumes for “Gathering Note: A Fable,” a major production at Actors Theatre. She also works closely with Walden Theatre, recently designing costumes for “The Merchant of Venice.” And she’s working with The Savage Rose, a new theater ensemble gearing up for its first production.
Lincoln attributes her interest in costume design to being a geek. “I have a huge range of interests and I love doing research,” she says. “Costume design incorporates all of these things I love — like reading, research, hair, sewing and art. It’s just all of these things I really love smushed in to one.”
Find more of Lincoln’s work at www.theaterfiend.com. —Aaron Frank
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