Wardobe Assistant at the Milwaukee Ballet Company and Dresser at the Marcus Performing Arts Center
Since graduating college, Latora Lezotte ’20 has utilized her skills and the connections she’s made at Carthage to continue her path in costume design. As the wardrobe assistant for the Milwaukee Ballet Company, she is responsible for distributing costumes to dancers and for helping with quick changes. She takes pride in making sure all dancers have the costume pieces they need and that they’re safe, secure, and comfortable.
At the Marcus Performing Arts Center, Ms. Lezotte works on the wardrobe crew for large shows as an overhire dresser. Her duties range from stitching and making costume repairs to prepping costumes before performances. When working on Broadway shows at the center, she follows strict dressing packet guidelines so that the costumes remain consistent when tours move on to other cities.
“I enrolled at Carthage for special effects makeup but left with a clear path ahead of me and one that I am thoroughly proud of!”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I always enjoy the relationships I build with dancers and actors backstage. I am also able to keep a small grasp on designing for smaller companies and schools, which is exciting, but my wardrobe work at the Milwaukee Ballet has been the most fulfilling and welcoming by far. I work with a phenomenal group of dancers and crew members who all thoroughly enjoy the work we put out and who have fun in the process.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“Getting a lot of hands-on wardrobe experience in the Carthage Theatre Department allowed me to build a strong base for my work today. My precision and leadership all come from working on the fly and making magic happen when things go wrong.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Filling in as the supervisor for the Milwaukee Ballet’s “Beauty and the Beast” production left me making swift decisions. Without the problem-solving skills and my ability to stay level headed in high-stress situations, which I perfected at Carthage, none of those small mishaps would’ve been handled as smoothly as they did.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Prof. Instenes and the shop manager Nicole Phillips always allowed me to shape my courses to fit my skill levels, and they never once stopped pushing me to the lengths of my abilities. They trusted in my decisions as a designer in school and allowed me to take on difficult projects to expand my learning the way I thought it should push me. Without their unending support and fun I had in the costume shop, I don’t think I would be as successful or have half as much fun as I do today!”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
“I was on the Dean’s List every semester, was a finalist for the Presidential Scholarship, and received many certificates of merit for my design and building work at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. I also graduated as the Outstanding Senior in my theatre graduating class and graduated a semester early.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“Working in theatre means working alongside a group of other artists and designers. If we all decide to do our own thing, we’d have a horribly inconsistent show that no one would want to see. Working in unison with everyone else on the team makes the shows enjoyable to work on and keeps them running smoothly.”