Puzzling series of costume thefts plagues Dramat



Yale Dramatic Association officers reported stolen costumes to the Yale Police on Monday. The costumes were to be used in the upcoming musical, “Floyd Collins” and stored at the Dramat Costume Shop at 305 Crown Street.

Dramat Secretary Christopher Grobe ’05 said the Dramat typically lends costumes out for Halloween. Grobe said some of the costumes reported stolen have been missing since Halloween, but he said that when additional costumes were stolen after the holiday, the theft seemed more deliberate.

“We were hoping [the costumes] would mysteriously be returned in the same way they mysteriously disappeared,” Grobe said. “That’s why it was shocking when more disappeared after [Halloween].”

“Floyd Collins” producer Josh Barnard ’05 said the stolen costumes do not belong to the Dramat but are on loan from another theater.

“We hired designers [for the show], one of which has done extensive work on Broadway. A lot of the stuff stolen was borrowed by that designer in good faith from another theater,” Barnard said.

Grobe said the costume shop is not locked because of fire regulations. He said the timing of this theft is ironic because Dramat officers have been considering new security measures.

“We’ve just recently been talking about going to the administration and getting a key pad lock,” Grobe said.

Dramat President Will Schleyer ’04 said the dean’s office has been supportive in this matter. Grobe said all other costumes have been moved to a secure location.

Schleyer said that on Friday the board e-mailed Dramat members who had taken out costumes for Halloween to remind them to return all borrowed articles. When officers received no responses, Schleyer said officers’ worries increased.

Schleyer said he learned Monday night there had been more costumes stolen and Dramat officers decided to notify police Monday night.

Grobe said he sent a second e-mail notice to the Dramat theater bulletin e-mail list because people in the theater community would be more knowledgeable about what may have happened.

Schleyer and Barnard said two of the costumes had been returned anonymously as of Tuesday night, but a number of the articles are still missing.

“Most undergrads have access to the building, so it’s hard to say who may have taken the items,” Barnard said.

Barnard said the Dramat hopes Yale police will trace student key-card access into the building if costumes are not returned. Barnard said he will also check with local shops to see if the items have been sold.

“It’s also disappointing because there are good people working on the show,” Barnard said. “It’s difficult to have a fairly major setback when everything is just coming together. But the show must go on and it will go on.”

Grobe said no questions will be asked if the missing items are returned to the costume shop immediately.

“We’re hoping people will take a good turn and things will be returned tomorrow,” Barnard said.

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