Kerri Packard
Tuesday, November 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:25 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

As costume director and designer for MU’s theater department, Kerri Packard, 37, would have liked her two children to have the greatest possible Halloween costumes.

“I’d like to say I always make my kids’ Halloween costumes, but I don’t,” Packard said. “My poor son always picks something I can easily buy.”

Sean, 6, was SpongeBob Square-Pants this year.

“Why would I go and reinvent SpongeBob when I can buy one?” Packard said.

Aside from her family costume duties, Packard designs for two shows each year at MU and oversees the production of costumes for all shows at both of MU’s playhouses.

She’s also the managing director of the Summer Repertory Theatre and winner of the Purple Chalk Award, a student-driven teaching award for faculty given by MU’s College of Arts and Science.

Packard’s office in the depths of Rhynsburger Theatre is covered in bookshelves full of titles on fashion history and framed antique pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, which were found by her mother, a “consummate antique and thrift store shopper.” Packard said her mother sends a box full of her latest findings about once a month. The box usually includes vintage clothing for the costume department or for Packard’s collection at home.

“Everybody in the theatre department passes on clothes,” Packard said. “You never know what you’re going to get; it could be fabulous.”

— Jenn Fields

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