Cinderella’s dresses in capable hands

See the glass slippers, et al, at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach

From left

From left

Bright satin dresses embellished with lace, flashy sequin jackets, and bouncy crinoline ball gowns, these are just some of the extravagant outfits audience members will behold while watching Cinderella this month.

Cinderella, a classic British Pantomime, is playing at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach from December 12-29.

Dorothy Lupul made the majority of the costumes for the Echo Players’ play, along with many more hours of work from the two other costume coordinators, Celia Wesselman and Marguerite Stevens.

Lupul said only a few of the costumes were altered, the rest were made from scratch from fabrics found at the society’s wardrobe outlet in Hilliers, along with local thrift shops, and fabric stores in Nanaimo and Vancouver.

“We use leftover fabrics, we basically make things from nothing,” she said.

Some of the outfits were made from drapery and upholstery fabrics, many were made with satin, and the hoop skirts were made with crystal organza.

Lupul has been making costumes for Echo Players for about six years, and since that time she has had her hand in every performance in some way, she said.

“With only the three of us involved somewhere along the line we touch every play,” she said.

The three had their first meeting in August about the costumes for Cinderella and since then have spent an estimated 300 hours on the bringing the costumes together. And Lupul works full time so she’s been putting in her time on evening and weekends.

It can often be a challenge trying to find all the right materials and pieces for the various productions at the theatre, and this play was no exception. The costume coordinators “lucked out” a few times, Wesselman said, including an exhausting search for the glass slippers.

“I found them at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Qualicum Beach, I couldn’t believe it, they jumped off the shelf at me,” she said.

Although it can be a struggle to meet their budget and deadline sometimes, it’s all worth the hard work in the end, Wesselman and Lupul agreed.

“If I can do something creative and see it up there and I love it and think that looks great, and everybody’s happy with it, that’s the feedback you need,” said Wesselman.

Tickets for Cinderella are $19 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for students and $5 for children 5 and under. Buy tickets at the box office in Qualicum Beach, phone 250-752-3522 or email For a performance calendar visit the website


Contest: Win two tickets to tickets to see Cinderella. E-mail with Send me to Cinderella in the subject line by the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Draw will be done on Dec. 12.