Mercer costume designer aims to sew the curve flat

Cloth that will be sewn into masks

Though campus classrooms and buildings may seem quiet during virtual instruction in recent days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a familiar hum and whir emanates from the Mercer University Theatre costume shop.

Shelley Kuhen holds up a mask she made.
Costume designer Shelley Kuhen holds a mask she made.

The sound of sewing machines clicking their needles together continues with costume designer Shelley Kuhen at the helm. But instead of adding sequins to skirts or fixing a hem to fit an actor, Kuhen is using her sewing abilities to create masks for Navicent Health and other healthcare professionals.

“The first time I heard about it, it was the costume shops in New York shifting gears to making masks because all their shows were cancelled,” Kuhen said. “I was contacted by a woman from a local group of people doing this from home.”

Kuhen and her two assistants, Mercer alumni Lauren Parris and Katie Trotter, had made roughly 250 masks as of early last week and showed no signs of stopping.

Continuing reading about the costume shop’s efforts at

Costume shop
Costume designer Shelley Kuhen and two Mercer alumni are making masks in the Mercer University Theatre costume shop for healthcare professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.


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