The toga, a garment that has transitioned through time from a regal robe of Ancient Rome to a signature staple at college parties (“Animal House,” anyone?), is finding another use, thanks to a playful request from Arena Stage. To celebrate the premiere of the theater’s performance of the play “You, Nero,” Arena is asking its patrons to come dressed for the part: in toga.
Guests who choose to drape themselves accordingly will be allowed to pay what they wish to to see the play, which focuses on a troubled playwright working to turn a wayward empire around through theater. The toga party will be head at performances from Nov. 25 to Dec. 5. Even if you choose not to join in on the Roman fun, libations can flow as freely as Bacchus would like, as alcohol is now permitted in the theater during the show.
Arena Stage's costume shop manager, T. Tyler Stumpf, gave us some tips for putting our best toga forward:
Raid your linen closet: “You take a bedsheet and basically create a tube for the main garment and then you could either have the other edge of it come up and be the drape in the front or you could make your drape out of another piece of fabric,"says Stumpf. "Two sheets is probably best - and I wouldn't use fitted sheets, either!"To create semicircular folds across the body, Stumpf suggests using a circle tablecloth as well.
Go crazy with color: "We think of those times as being sort of white, but they were actually really, really, really colorful," says Stumpf. "A lot of the Roman stuff was white with colorful edges - purples and reds were royalty."
Keep your feet covered, if you want: While the fashion of gladiator sandals stem from Ancient Rome, the cold weather may freeze your feet. Stumpf recommends "some warm shoes." However the vents at Arena Stage blow under the seats, so "if there's heat pumping into the building you'd feel it on your feet first."
Go back to nature with headgear: "Caesar wore a laurel wreath...but Nero's headband was always made out of oak leaves." Go for a fun gold leaf headband, and place it on the back of your head for the Roman look.
Be sure to check YouTube for more ways to drape a toga.
Cocktails and togas - what could be better?
Pay what you can is cash only, and limited to two tickets per person
wearing a toga. For more information, visit arenastage.org.