Katie Krise: Behind the seams


Marissa Werner

Katie Krise and her designs that appeared in “1776”, “Titanic”, the art show, “She Stoops to Conquer”, and “Once Upon a Mattress.”

TOWAMENCIN- Most people don’t find their niche in high school until it’s too late to really get involved and time to graduate. North Penn Junior Katie Krise walked into high school to a place she could already call home and people she could call family. Already being involved in seven North Penn Theatre Productions, Krise has spent hours behind the scenes sewing dresses, matching outfits, and expressing herself through the outfits she creates for each scene.

“I started doing it when I was in eighth grade, the spring musical the titanic, because my brother was in the play and they were having moms come in to help with the costumes. My mom couldn’t sew but since I knew how to, I started to help and then I kept doing it through ninth grade and into the high school,” explained Krise.

It is always a bit scary and uncomfortable starting something new, especially when your an eighth grader surrounded by seniors. Off to a quiet start with the costume crew, Krise has since thrived as she continued her passion and sewed for every show since. With only two more shows left before graduation, Krise is ready to use new techniques and skills to come up with new ideas and advancements in the costumes.

“Angela Hoerner and Marianne Brady, the ladies who run it, have a ton of costumes already in stock in a storage room on in the balcony section. So we take out anything that might be able to work and we might use and get a sense of what it is going to look like and what we still need to make,” shared Krise.

With these clothes in the back of their mind, Krise and the rest of the Build crew can start working on more. Krise is in both the Build and Run costume crew. Build is in charge of creating the outfits, while Run helps during the performances with costume changes and anything that might need quick fixing.

“At the beginning of each show we have a day when they are just reading and getting familiar with the script so during that time a bunch of us measure them and put their sizes in a big binder so we can reference later. It helps when we are deciding to assign the costumes that are already made and see that which person would fit into which costume, and then after that we see what is needed to be made,” described Krise about the start of each show season.

In the beginning the costume crew only meets twice a week to start preparation, but as opening night approaches, they meet several times a week and on weekends.

When it comes to the dresses and skirts, and all the other raiment Krise has created, her favorite design was worn in ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.

“The one I really liked was the one I made for ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ which was the fall show of my sophomore year. It was the dress the main character Kate wore for most of the show…. It was originally a shirt and a skirt but I combined them together to make it and added a zipper as well…It was then reused in 1776 for Abigail Adams to wear,” shared Krise. With the ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ performance at the International Thespian Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, Krise’s hard work was front and center for everyone to see.

For the most recent production of ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’, all the characters wore an arrangement of skirts, shorts, undershirts, vests, and aprons.

“There was a lot of pulling from different previous costumes because everyone had different types of similar outfits. We pulled a lot of it from the storage room and combined different sets to make the costume work. We would find a shirt that we liked and then we would be like ‘Ok, what type of skirt would look good with this or can we find something that will work with this piece’’” said Krise.

Outside of school, Krise enjoys swimming and Lifeguarding at the Nor Gwyn Pool, but expressing her creative side is definitely her passion. With an open mind about the future, Krise is interested in a field where she can express her creativeness and love for design but maybe not in the fashion field.

“You can’t be 100% creative all the time when making the costumes because sometimes you just need to follow instructions, but then we get to pick and match different clothes and pick fabrics and there are a lot of places to just express yourself through them,” stated Krise.

Aiming high for the future, she is still enjoying every moment of high school she can.

“I already came in the high school knowing a lot of people from this and it is so comforting that so many people are there giving you a place that you already know you are a part of; it’s like a family,” described Krise about the people she has met and came to love through a joined love for fashion.

Throughout Krise’s long hours behind the machine, Angela Hoerner, who runs the costume crew, has been a huge advocate for helping Krise learn from mistakes and make improvements.

“I can tell you that Katie has learned many skills while working on my crew and when she applies herself, she does beautiful work,” describes Angela Hoerner.