Devine Child High School's Production of Plain and Fancy
June 7, 2010
I received an email back in May from Jacqueline Bacus offering to donate costumes from a production of Plain and Fancy to The Round Barn Theatre. This has happened before, but this story is very inspiring to us. Jacqueline taught at Devine Child High School in Dearborn, Michigan for thirty years and produced thirty seven musical within its drama department. She is now retired and doing what all retired drama teachers do: cleaning her basement of costumes.
Devine Child High School is the largest Catholic co-ed high school in the state of Michigan.The theater department has been a member of the Educational Theater Association since the mid 1970's, and has performed at the International Thespian Festival as well as state competitions on a regular basis. the school recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008.
This all came to fruition because Jacqueline and her husband Tom saw Plain and Fancy at The Round Barn Theatre in 1994. She fell in love with the musical and convinced her drama department to produce it as their spring muscial in 1995. With a cast of thirty and her daughter Toni cast as Hilda Miller, they had a year to plan for their seven performances. She used this time to expose her students to Amish society and the unique aspects of their lifestyle. They came to Indiana Amish country to purchase fabrics to make the dresses and aprons, prayer caps, and straw hats for the cast. Jacqueline's sister is a quilter and provided the quilts used in the production. They made twenty one color coordinated authentic Amish dresses and assembled boxes of caps and straw hats. In addition to the costumes, she also donated numerous props including picnic baskets with cherry pies, a turkey, broom, even extra fabric. Jacqueline's photo album attests to the attention to detail and sophistication of their production.
Now with Plain and Fancy in its 24th season at Amish Acres, seeds of inspiration that were sown 15 years ago have come back in a wonderful present to the theatre and the show. So as the self-proclaimed national home of Plain and Fancy and stewards of its traditions, we are now inspired by those we inspired. It would be a great way to run the world!