Setting up SET: Senior expands knowledge of fashion design through theater


Chloe Ma

Senior Inga Domenick sews costumes for this year’s SET performance. Inga has been a part of the costume crew since ninth grade.

Meena Lee, Sports Editor

Enter stage left, dressed in black. Face the audience and bow. Pause. Exit stage right. 

The audience at the final production of Student Experimental Theater Feb. 26 saw senior Inga Domenick onstage for barely a minute. What they didn’t see were all the hours she spent creating schedules, designing and sewing in the costumes room, overseeing script read-throughs and blocking, and communicating with directors, actors and crew members.

Student Experimental Theater is a completely student-run production of six student-written plays. As a creative costumes master, dedicated head of the SET board and theater manager, Inga has played an essential role in making SET an annual success. 

Inga began working with SET in ninth grade, when she planned to join the costume crew with a friend. Her friend didn’t show up, but Inga did, and she realized how much she enjoyed being a part of SET.

“Freshman year, when I first joined, I’m like, ‘I really like this crew,’” Inga said. “But then I didn’t know how to sew then. And so I felt kind of useless in the crew.” 

That feeling dissipated by the next year when she learned to sew. During her junior year, she became costumes master. 

“I think after that, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is really fun. I can make a lot of cool things,’” Inga said. “Really, what keeps me going is, like, I just want to make better and better things. Because you know, I’ll see the mistakes. And I would like to fix those things.”

Inga had always been interested in fashion, but participating in costumes allowed Inga to expand her knowledge about design.

Really, what keeps me going is, like, I just want to make better and better things. Because you know, I’ll see the mistakes. And I would like to fix those things.

— Inga Domenick

“I think costume design lets you explore more historical stuff, rather than, you know, going more contemporary and more modern,” Inga said. “And I also really liked that they get to be put on stage and part of a performance, something bigger than just a fashion show.”

Junior Esme Oliver works with Inga as a costumes apprentice and admires Inga’s creativity. 

“She has a lot of really cool costume designs that I think she was able to showcase well in SET,” Esme said. “She puts a lot of care into the design of the costumes and kind of like making sure that each one fits each actor and, like, fits the role they’re going to play.”

This year, as head of the SET board and theater manager, Inga was responsible for the timing of rehearsals and production and oversaw almost everything. 

“As head, I have to make sure that everything goes to schedule,” Inga said. “I also have to create that schedule as well.”

Liucija Ambrosini, the faculty adviser who works with SET, has worked with Inga since Inga was in ninth grade. According to Mrs. Ambrosini, Inga developed her time management skills well. 

“You have to have a calendar view of something, and you have to be able to organize not only for the entire time period, but you have to organize weekly,” Mrs. Ambrosini said. “And then, you have to organize what happens that day, and see from day to day that you are able to get to your goals. That’s a very important aspect she’s learned.” 

Additionally, Mrs. Ambrosini noted Inga’s strong communication skills. 

“In order to become a strong leader, you have to be able to communicate things that are needed, whether it’s something that’s needed in the moment or overall picture, or something that’s needed next week,” Mrs. Ambrosini said. 

According to Mrs. Ambrosini, Inga took charge when SET needed to be performed over Zoom last year. 

“She really, absolutely, took her duties very seriously, and fulfilled everything,” Mrs. Ambrosini said. “She is just extremely dedicated.” 

“She really, absolutely, took her duties very seriously, and fulfilled everything. She is just extremely dedicated.

— Liucija Ambrosini

Esme believes Inga demonstrates her commitment to SET by balancing all her roles.

“She divided the design process and construction process between the costume crew. She was doing the designing for costumes, while she was also directing,” Esme said, and noted her hardworking nature. 

The friends Inga has made through SET have made it a particularly special experience.  Inga said she will definitely miss the people she’s met. 

“The costumes room is like separated from the rest of the theater. Sometimes actors will go there if they’re kind of tired, being surrounded by people,” Inga said. “We can just have really like truthful, honest conversations with each other. So people on the crew, you know, you get to know them pretty well.” 

Inga’s passion for theater inspires her to stay committed and work hard for SET. She’s going to work for the spring production and plans to continue theater after high school.

“It being theater keeps me motivated to work on it, because I know that everything has to come together,” Inga said. “It’s just something that I really love, and that’s why I keep doing it.”