In the past month the Augustana theatre costume department has undergone some changes as Augustana’s costume designer and shop manager Jennifer Shouse-Klassen resigned.
Klassen, who split her time between her job with the Augustana costume department and another part-time job, was offered a managerial position at the other establishment.
“It was a surprise to Jenni as much as it was to the theatre company,” senior Christina Olson said. “She did not apply for the job she was offered, but ultimately she decided to take it.”
Although Klassen will be missed by Olson, the show must go on. Cindi Bakke was hired as the new coordinator of the costume department. Rien Schlecht has been given the title of designer.
“We will miss Jenni,” RJ Fitzsimmons, director of the theatre department, said. “We were fortunate to be able to hire two individuals to split the responsibilities of costume designer and costume shop coordinator.”
According to Olson, who has worked in the costume department at Augustana since she was a freshman, it is sad to see Jenni go.
“She was always wonderful to talk to, and her office door was usually open for anyone to ask questions or just talk about life,” Olson said. “We will miss her great attitude and chocolates we could usually find in her office.”
However, Olson said that Bakke and Schlecht will be a good fit for the Augustana Theater department.
“RJ and Jayna Fitzsimmons feel they will both be a good fit,” Olson said. “I trust their judgment.”
“This arrangement is serving our costume needs very well,” Fitzsimmons said.
Olson, along with other members of the costume department, are excited to have Bakke on board. It will be her job to make sure all of the work in the costume shop gets done. She will also be available to help answer any questions students have about costumes and help them learn and grow in this department.
“She made a wonderful first impression and I am looking forward to working with her this semester,” Olson said. “I have a feeling she will be a good fit for Augie since she seemed amused at the usual shenanigans that occur while working at company call.”
Fitzsimmons said Bakke and Schlecht will help mentor students designers to help the Augustana theatre department produce high quality shows.