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All world the world’s a stage but where would it be without a healthy dose of makeup and wardrobe?

Read the complete version of this feature in our newspaper or e-Edition for Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011.

Read the complete version of this feature in our newspaper or e-Edition for Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. Photo by Kelley McCall.

The magic of theater is as much about what happens behind the scenes as on stage.

Backstage and pre-show happenings including costume changes, makeup touchups, and the donning of wigs all play a part in transporting an audience to a different place and time.

Directors take on the task of choosing costumes, whether they be flamboyant and extravagant for a show like “Tuna Does Vegas,” or subdued and timely for “Little Women.”

But costumes and makeup need not be more than street clothes and a little mascara for reader’s theater or intimate settings, like for shows put on by the African American Repertory Theatre or Scene One Theatre, two local companies.

Regina Divine, owner and managing director of the African American Repertory, directs many readers’ theater performances in which the actors read the lines from a script on stage. These don’t always require costumes, but the readers’/actors’ facial expressions are an important part of the show.

“You always want to be sharing with the audience what’s going on in the face,” said Joni Weinbaum, who directs for Scene One Theatre.

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