Meet the artist: Lin Knickerbocker

Current Hometown: Minot

A little bit about self:

My family came here when Tim, my husband, was stationed here with the Air Force and we decided to retire here. We have three adult children, Courtney, Brittany, and Danny.

What kind of art do you practice?

I am a costumer for theatrical productions, creating new and embellished costumes for performances. This most often consists of altering clothes from our wardrobe supply for use as period costumes which is typically the need for Mouse River Players Community Theater. We use what we have on hand and make it fit for the time frame of a given production.

How did you get started? What influenced your pursuit of this art?

I began sewing at my grandmother’s side when I was just a little girl. While studying theater at the State University of New York at Brockport, I found I was drawn to the creative side of production. Later when I became involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism, I found I enjoyed the research aspect of creating Medieval and Renaissance clothing.

Where might we have seen/heard/experienced your work?

My first costuming assignment in Minot was in 2003 for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Since then, I’ve done many, many shows for MRP and a few for Magic City Campus. The MRP website has an archive page and some of my work could be seen there.

How would you describe your style?

I adapt my style to the needs of the production. It usually involves locating the materials at hand and reconstructing them to work with the artistic image of a director.

What do you feel has been your greatest artistic achievement?

Many of the shows are memorable. I remember the joy of seeing the Jazz-age style costumes for Last of the Minot Flappers as the characters came to life on the stage, the challenge of Aesop’s Fables when faced with fashioning human clothing for animal characters, and the antique atmosphere of Arsenic and Old Lace. Overall, each production is rewarding in its own way.

What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

I enjoy working with the actors and helping them develop their characters through costuming. The right costume completes the creative process. In community theater, budgets are limited and the process involves visiting thrift stores and using one’s imagination to do what we can with what we have. When it all comes together, it’s a wonderful feeling of satisfaction.

What projects do you currently have?

I am currently preparing 40 actors for the production of Orphan Train March 9-11 and 16-18. The cast includes children and adults of varied sizes and shapes and is set in the early 1900s. I costumed this show when it was done here in 2006 and am happy to do it again. Following that, I’ll be working on the MRP season closer of 12 Angry Jurors in May.