DONNA SOUTHERN SCHMIDT
press and awards
Costumes say many things in a play, but the two most important roles are setting the period and revealing character. Within limits, it's the director who sets the tone, so if he wants Hamlet moping on the moon, more likely than not the costumes will not be Danish Renaissance. Schmidt has been director of the costume shop at A.D. Players for many seasons, and her sharp eye and skill with a needle have always elevated their shows with taste, refinement and good judgment. Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett's heart-wrenching period drama of a family in crisis is site-specific: WW II Amsterdam. Hiding from the Nazi invaders, the middle-class Franks take refuge in an upstairs secret annex in Frank's spice warehouse. They are everyday people whose clothes are unshowy, drab and utilitarian. Entering the apartment, they take off the outer layer to reveal another set of clothing underneath. To not attract attention as they walked through the street, they wore as much as they could so as not to carry suitcases. Nothing looks like it was just made in the costume shop; these clothes are used and somewhat threadbare. That's the way they read from the stage anyway, and it's a perfect look. Simple sweater sets or brighter day dresses for Anne and her sister, unfitted suits for the men, sombre grays for their mother, and better quality dresses and that beloved fur coat for Mrs.Van Daan, who lives above her means. She makes such a scene over that coat, her last link to her family, that we know the coat's going to come to no good. These functional costumes, so apt, serve the drama without shouting, just what great costumes should do.
Houston Press Awards 2014
Diary of Anne Frank, A. D. Players
"Schmidt's period costumes are marvels"
Houston Press review of the Miracle Worker
"Donna Southern Schmidt's costumes are equally well designed to be both giggle worthy and impressive."
Broadway World review of Christmas of Many Parts 2015
Costume Design by Donna Southern Schmidt is ideal for the early 1900's. The colors and prints utilized are timely and engaging. While several of the costumes, like Anne's dress, were simplistic and befitting of the time period, it is clear that each look was intricately and meticulously composed. The attention to detail in Costume Design is comprehensive, providing the audience with a varied array of fashion, fitting for the town of Avonlea.
Broadway World Review of Anne of Avonlea 2013
Houston Press Awards Nominee for The Wizard of Oz at Main Street Theater
Houston Press Theater Awards Finalist in Costume Design for Charlie's Aunt at The A.D. Players
1995- Museum of Fine Arts Houston Silver Scissors Costume Award
1994 Museum of Fine Arts Houston Silver Scissors Chairman's Choice Award for Costume Design
1989 Grand Prize Runner up in Jeffrey Beene Design Contest
Best Costume Design 1998/1999 Season for The Importance of Being Earnest
Grace Theater Series Best Costumes 1997-1998 Season
Best Costume Design 1996 for Christmas Party of One
Best Costume Design 2003 for Joyful Noise
Best Costume Design1995 for Saving Nineveh
Best Costume Design 1994 for Myrtle, A Melodrama
Best Costume Design1993 for Gold, Frankincense, Christmas Tree Ornaments and Myrrh
Best Costume Design 1992 Christmas Reservations
Spotlighter Awards A.D. Players- Children's Theater
Best Costume Design Wizard Of Oz 1998/1999 Season
Rotunda Theater Series Best Costumes 1997-1998 season
Best Costume Design 1995 for Winnie The Pooh
Best Costume Design 1993 for All I want for Christmas
Best Costume Design 1992 Leonard's Christmas