Downton Abbey is an international television sensation created by Oscar winning writer Julian Fellowes. For the past 4 years, the program, (which airs on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. on Pioneer Public TV) has attracted a growing base of fans who tune in to watch the aristocratic Crawley family navigate a rapidly changing world in England during the 1920s.
The show has inspired a nationwide interest in Edwardian era clothing and fashion, with top designers like Ralph Lauren offering gowns and tweed jackets based on the hit TV series. SMSU Theatre Professor Sheila Tabaka, an internationally recognized costume designer, will curate a lobby display of period costumes and related items from SMSU Theatre's costume collection. Period jewelry designed by SMSU’s Art Professor Dr. Pat Brace also will be on display. Co-owner of Coco Avenue, Laura Guza-Antony, will contribute to the lobby display with mannequins adorned with fashions inspired by Downton Abbey.
In addition, SMSU Theatre students will wear costumes inspired by the fashions featured in the TV series. Audience members are encouraged to dress up for an informal "fashion show" that will be held as part of the evening festivities. A reception will follow the show in the theatre lobby. Refreshments will feature desserts created by SMSU’s Student Hospitality Opportunities (SHO) Club.
“We are delighted to be a part of the Downton Abbey Season 5 Sneak Preview,” said Dr. Jan Loft, Dean of the SMSU College of Arts, Letters and Sciences. “Downton Abbey has captured the hearts of so many people. We have laughed and grieved with the Crawley family and have watched them transition from the Edwardian world to a world filled with social changes, a “shaking of the ground” they stand on, to paraphrase Mr. Carson. And of course everyone wants to hear the next scathing zinger from Lady Violet!” Loft added.
For those who can’t make the premiere on December 5th, the Downton Abbey program will be broadcast on Sunday, January 4th at 9 p.m. over the air on Pioneer Public TV or on Charter Channel 6 and WOW Channel 98 in Marshall.
The event is free but seating is limited. Tickets to the event are available at the SMSU Visitor's Information Desk in Founder's Hall, and the Fine Arts and Communication Department Office in Fine Arts 207, Borch’s, Coco Avenue and at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council. For more information, contact Pioneer’s Community Relations Representative Nicole Zempel at 320-289-2622 or visit the SMSU Theatre homepage, or call the Theatre Program at (507) 537-7103.