Prop and costume sales are usually just overpriced garage sales, a way for a theater company to clear out the basement and make some quick money. Most of the items would be practically worthless by themselves; anybody who has ever seen the green-foam-and-staples monstrosity that Eddie Murphy wore as Gumby on Saturday Night Live can attest to this fact. However, you never know what people will deem valuable. A fake ice cube we swiped from Southfork Ranch is probably worth a handful of pocket lint to most people, but we look at it fondly because it reminds us of staying up past our bedtime to watch Dallas. The Dallas Theater Center's Costumes to Collectibles Sale is filled with items that, by themselves, wouldn't fetch more than a few bucks, but to people who value them for sentimental reasons, they are priceless. Even a small item can mean everything if it came from a production that you saw on your first date with your wife.
The DTC board of directors, patrons of the arts, and private collectors throughout the city donated the items for sale. The DTC has been collecting the objects since last September, amassing thousands of pieces in that time. The result is a collection that should appeal to theater lovers and antique hunters alike. The sale features unusual art, furniture, and clothing from throughout the DTC's 38-year history, including opera star Lily Pons' trunk from the 1940s, a vintage telephone switchboard, a turn-of-the-century railroad chest, and angel wings from a production of Angels in America.
Although the DTC has put on many fine productions, the key items for sale aren't from any of them. Two hundred Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater chairs from the Kalita Humphreys Theater have been tagged for sale. The Kalita Humphreys Theater is one of only three theaters the legendary architect drew the plans for in his career. The seats are collectors' items for that reason alone, but for many, they will be valued for other sentimental reasons.
The first annual Dallas Theater Center Costumes to Collectibles Sale happens on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Arts District Theater, located at 2401 Flora St. Admission is free. A preview party with live music by Liz Mikel happens on Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Arts District Theater. Admission is $10. Call (214) 526-8210 for more information.