Pioneer Theatre costumers to sew, sell masks

Pioneer Theatre Company will be making and selling masks as a way to keep its costume shop employees funded during the pandemic. Pictured are some fabric samples. Images: PTC

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 26, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Pioneer Theatre Company has turned the skills of its costume shop workers to mask-making in a creative approach to sustain theater jobs and supply masks as Salt Lake and Summit counties now require face coverings, the company announced on Friday.

“We agree we need to get the city back on its feet, and support the mayors’ face mask requirements in Salt Lake and Summit Counties,” Artistic Director Karen Azenberg said in a prepared statement, “but we all know by now that in-person theatre will be one of the later industries to come back to life, at least in the way it’s traditionally been produced.”

Azenburg noted the need to continue paying the theater’s costume shop employees, which led to the idea of making masks.

“Over the year, we employ hundreds of theatre professionals, who cut, nail, sew, paint, engineer –- and unlike some of our community theaters, this is their full-time, benefited profession. We need to find ways to bring them back to work as we wait for live theater to return.”

PTC marketing director Kirsten Park noted the need to sell something other than tickets, since the pandemic suspended productions.

“We figured it out and have successfully been shipping out, and even hand-delivering, masks all over Salt Lake City and even across the country.”

PTC’s website offers a variety of pre-selected prints and fabrics from their costume shop inventory but can also accommodate special requests and custom orders.

The masks are the pleated version, with earloops, pockets for a removable filter and a nose wire if one chooses. Masks can be selected in small, medium and large.

Future offerings may include “bring your own fabric” or offering fabrics used from costume inventory for people who want to recognize their favorite productions.

Masks sell for $15 each, with a $3.50 shipping and handling fee, and the price per mask goes down with batched orders. To see the website, visit


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