Donna Southern Schmidt

Above: Donna Southern Schmidt at work on masks.

Dr. Dana Oldham’s mask (below) came from fabric from our production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, pictured above.

Donna Southern Schmidt, a local, professional costume designer who works regularly with us at MST as well as other Houston theaters, has found a way to make good use of her forced hiatus by sewing masks for medical workers. But these are not ordinary masks. She’s using fabric remnants from plays she designed for us in the past.

We gave Donna the fabric to use for as many masks as she could make. Since March 27, she has made approximately 85 masks and delivered them to LBJ Hospital in Harris County. With the help of her community, all told they have made and donated 320 masks!  Her original goal was 200! The masks are colorful and uplifting, coming from plays like The Wizard of Oz and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. The Oz masks are from the fabric of the Scarecrow and Flying Monkeys’ costumes – not your everyday hospital gear.

“Donna is a brilliant designer but she is also a community builder, and this is totally something I would expect her to do,” shared MST Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden. “We are honored to have a small part in her efforts, and we know the hospital workers are very grateful for all Donna is doing.” Donna is also the Manager of Houston’s Costume Connection, a warehouse collaborative started by Main Street Theater and The Ensemble Theatre for arts groups to share resources and rent costumes for productions.

The local press has covered Donna’s work extensively:

Houston Chronicle

Houston Press

Houstonia Magazine

Houston Family Magazine

Houston Public Media

Leftover fabric from the Scarecrow’s costume were turned into the masks above.

Fabric from the Flying Monkeys costumes were used to make the masks above.