Ashleigh Poteat

Putting it together
Ashleigh Poteat wanted a career that would stitch together her love of history with her passion for art and design. She found it in the theater.

Poteat, the college’s new Costume Designer and Assistant Professor of Theater, studied history while pursuing an arts, drama production and design degree at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

“I realized that costume design combines my love of design and art with discovering historical people and events and how they shaped certain time periods,” she says. “It was perfect for me.”

Poteat started off in the theater as a carpenter and a scenic artist.

“At first, I was forbidden to enter the costume shop,” she said with a laugh. “It wasn’t until I was in undergraduate school several years later that I started to sew a little bit. I made a felt hat and it was fun. That was it. I was hooked.” 

The North Carolina native said she was drawn to LaGrange College because it reminded her of Davidson College, where her grandfather taught.

“It also reminded me a lot of the University of North Carolina at Asheville,” she said. “The humanities program is very strong here, and it’s a liberal arts college. I was struck by how much the professors really care about the students, and what a diverse range of students we have. Everyone is very keen to collaborate, and they have really diverse backgrounds. As an artist myself, I really wanted to be with these people because I felt that I could learn from them as well.”

She was excited to come into a department that hadn’t had a costume designer for a while.

“I was able to pretty much come in and create things from the start,” she said.

And she knew she had to hit the ground running because a big show was coming up in October. “The Cherry Orchard” is a production that requires specific costuming for a cast of 16.

“One of the first things I did was reorganize everything (in the costume shop),” she says. “I went through and catalogued as I went, deciding what I could use and what I couldn’t use. There are several pieces in the show that are built from the ground up, and some students are even building their own costumes that way.”

The November show, “The Maids,” has a small cast of three.

“One of the students is designing a red velvet evening gown, and we will be building that from scratch. So that will be a wonderful project for her.”

The final show of the season is “Dames at Sea.”

“It’s a musical so it’s going to be very sparkly,” she said, laughing. “Even though there are only seven actors in the cast, it will still have a lot of costume changes.  It will be an adventure. But because it is set in the 1930s and it’s a musical, there won’t be as much fabric as with ‘Cherry Orchard.’ ”
Ashleigh Poteat wanted a career that would stitch together her love of history with her passion for art and design. She found it in the theater.

Poteat, the college’s new Costume Designer and Assistant Professor of Theater, studied history while pursuing an arts, drama production and design degree at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

“I realized that costume design combines my love of design and art with discovering historical people and events and how they shaped certain time periods,” she says. “It was perfect for me.”

Poteat started off in the theater as a carpenter and a scenic artist.

“At first, I was forbidden to enter the costume shop,” she said with a laugh. “It wasn’t until I was in undergraduate school several years later that I started to sew a little bit. I made a felt hat and it was fun. That was it. I was hooked.” 

The North Carolina native said she was drawn to LaGrange College because it reminded her of Davidson College, where her grandfather taught.

“It also reminded me a lot of the University of North Carolina at Asheville,” she said. “The humanities program is very strong here, and it’s a liberal arts college. I was struck by how much the professors really care about the students, and what a diverse range of students we have. Everyone is very keen to collaborate, and they have really diverse backgrounds. As an artist myself, I really wanted to be with these people because I felt that I could learn from them as well.”

She was excited to come into a department that hadn’t had a costume designer for a while.

“I was able to pretty much come in and create things from the start,” she said.

And she knew she had to hit the ground running because a big show was coming up in October. “The Cherry Orchard” is a production that requires specific costuming for a cast of 16.

“One of the first things I did was reorganize everything (in the costume shop),” she says. “I went through and catalogued as I went, deciding what I could use and what I couldn’t use. There are several pieces in the show that are built from the ground up, and some students are even building their own costumes that way.”

The November show, “The Maids,” has a small cast of three.

“One of the students is designing a red velvet evening gown, and we will be building that from scratch. So that will be a wonderful project for her.”

The final show of the season is “Dames at Sea.”

“It’s a musical so it’s going to be very sparkly,” she said, laughing. “Even though there are only seven actors in the cast, it will still have a lot of costume changes.  It will be an adventure. But because it is set in the 1930s and it’s a musical, there won’t be as much fabric as with ‘Cherry Orchard.’ ”

 


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Here, you will learn from the best. More than 80 percent of our full-time faculty members hold the highest degrees in their fields. Whether your interests lie in the arts, science, business—or anything in between—there’s a path of study waiting for you here. And our accomplished, engaging faculty will guide you along the way.