BRUNSWICK, Maine — For Maine State Music Theatre, the past couple of seasons have been challenging to navigate. The pandemic has created unexpected obstacles for more than a year and a half, but this weekend, some kind of familiarity will return to Brunswick.
MSMT's beloved costume sale is happening on Friday, October 15 from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There's also a blowout sale where people can take out as much as they want on Saturday from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
MSMT's artistic director Curt Dale Clark says the event will feature everything from tuxedos to evening gowns to mud boots. Anything that has been in shows that the theater is no longer planning to use will be up for grabs.
"Every year, watching people come in here and touch this stuff and hold it in their hands and realize, 'I saw this show! I want this!' It's really fun," Clark said. "It's really fun to see moms and dads get stuff for their kids and to know that when they go out trick-or-treating, they're bringing a little bit of Maine State Music Theatre with them."
This will be the seventh time the event has happened since 2013. It was canceled last year because of COVID-19 and couldn't happen in 2018 because of a lack of stock. Carol Marquis, director of communications and marketing at MSMT, says the fundraiser typically raises anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. She says in a normal year, a few hundred people come to the sale.
There will be a limit to the number of people who can attend this weekend because of the pandemic. Everyone who wants to come out will have to buy a ticket online ahead of time. There's a limit of 20 people allowed inside of the building per time slot. Tickets cost $25 on Friday, and all proceeds will go toward MSMT. On Saturday, the entry fee is $10 -- and that money will be counted toward any purchase a visitor makes.
This has always been a community-centered event, but Clark says it's especially important this year since COVID-19 has created challenges that have been tough to overcome the past couple of seasons.
"It's important every year because it's a great community-building experience for us, but this year in particular more than any other year, that COVID bug bit us," Clark expressed. "We're anxious to get the word out that we do need help."
He says the ongoing support from the community means a lot.
"We're blessed here at Maine State Music Theatre, truly, truly blessed every year to have a large number of people that do care about us," Clark said.
You can learn more about the costume sale here.