When directors Dwayne and Ronda Craig set out to stage Bonnie and Clyde at The Colony High School, they had no idea that their students would be walking in the literal footsteps of original Broadway stars Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes.
But that’s exactly what happened when the Craigs discovered that the original physical production—including the set, costumes, wigs, and props—were being auctioned off by Dallas Summer Musicals last November. The two were able to purchase the multi-million dollar physical production for about $10,000, with the help of the school’s parent-funded booster club.
“I would say we have 90 percent of the show, down to the wedding ring that Laura Osnes wore as Bonnie. You can’t even imagine,” Dwayne said.
“The auction house didn’t know what they were selling, or the magnitude of what they had,” adds Ronda. “We happened to be looking under a table and there was this laundry basket with all these gallon-sized bags in it. We started going through them, and it was all of the Bonnie and Clyde wigs.”
Also included were extra bolts of fabric and many of the original patterns used to build the costumes, designed by Tobin Ost (who also created the show’s scenic designs).
Student performers have said that they feel as though their dreams are within reach as they try on Ost’s costumes and walk around his original Broadway set. “It feels like they’re on holy ground,” Dwayne states. “Broadway is a big dream for many of them, and with Bonnie and Clyde, they can see it and they can feel it. They’re experiencing it in a way only few actors get to do. It’s put a whole new perspective on what they want to do with their lives and their careers.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” Ronda added.
Ost also sees a sense of fulfillment in his designs' journey from New York to Texas: “We often think of Broadway as the pinnacle and something that’s hard to access, but with this production, the distance between Broadway and New York City and this high school in Texas is much less than we ever imagined. Broadway is comprised of people who come to New York from Texas—and places all across the U.S. There’s something wonderful about it living on and it being bequeathed to a whole new generation.”
Because Bonnie and Clyde is also part of Texas history, the school is setting up a museum in the lobby, featuring various costumes and other production elements from the physical production to deepen the audience’s experience and hit home the uniqueness of this production.
The school plans to keep the costumes and wigs for use in future productions, while the set will be sold to a local theatrical rental company who will rent out elements to other productions in the area.
Performances take place February 7–11. For tickets and more information, visit TheatreattheColony.com.