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by Meagan Cole

Nikolas Kuzmanoff is a Junior originally from Naperville, Illinois, with a double major in English and Art.  His exciting story begins behind the scenes of “The Flying Dutchman”, a play written by Richard Wagner, and currently being performed in downtown Roanoke.

Nikolas’ part in the show isn’t in the spotlight, but rather backstage as a costume dresser. Few people seem to understand the hard work that gets put into a production, behind the scenes, especially one as comples as “The Flying Dutchman”.

Prior to working on “The Flying Dutchman”, Nikolas costumed many cast members in the last seven consecutive TRC productions. As a Theatre Design minor, he’s also taken classes in both Costume Design and Make Up for the Stage. His go-to professor in the department, Jennifer Ruhland, could not overlook such a high level of passion and determination, so she recommended him for “The Flying Dutchman” crew without hesitation.

Yet, Nikolas is very much humbled by the experience and insists he finds a profound meaning in his duties.

“Being a dresser, for me, is about helping out the performers” Nikolas said.

While some would be intimidated by the necessary precision to sew performance-worthy costumes or apply elaborate make-up, Nikolas genuinely enjoys the job.

“I love working with clothes and make-up. I get to take a person and accentuate everything about their face, body, and personality to create the character.”

Finally, Nikolas has high ambitions after college that could lead him in a variety of different directions. He’s considered everything “from designing video game characters, worlds, and stories, to doing make-up and costumes for movies and television.”

Although he hasn’t quite decided what he wants to do in the long run, you can see Nikolas’ handiwork in “The Flying Dutchman” at the Jefferson Center in downtown Roanoke. Other familiar faces include Jeremy O’Brien and Kristin Hodges, both alumni from Roanoke College. Shows start at 8 PM on Friday, September 21st and 2:30 PM on Sunday, September 23rd  and the cover charge is $20 per person.

Nikolas assures us, “It may seem really expensive, but the show is gorgeous, and the cast is wonderful and very talented.”

Break a leg, Nikolas!

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