| Apr 03, 2008

Feature Article - April 3, 2008

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Feature Article -April 3, 2008 Indispensible Nina By Susan StopfordSince mid-January Nina Jenkin's life has been a hectic swirl of fabric! That was when she started on the job of creating the 155 different costumes needed for North Frontenac Little Theatre's May 1, 2, 3 and 4th production of "The Wizard of Oz". Three and a half months later Nina has an orderly rack of costumes filling one wall of her living room and she is putting the finishing touches on the costumes with glue guns, glittery trim, cans of spray paint - and of course, needle and thread.

There are approximately 60 actors in the Wizard of Oz; many are children, and some of them have 4 different roles. "There are 9 winged monkeys, 19 winkies, 27 munchkins, 15 crows, 7 trees, 6 jitterbugs, 11 poppies and 33 citizens of Oz,” says Nina, "not to mention 17 adult characters. This has been about twice the work I thought it would be!" When asked why she agreed to take on the job of costumer for such a big production, Nina laughed and said "I was temporarily insane".

Although Nina and her helpers (Debbie Jones, Helen Bron, Janet Revell and Teresa Scott) have sewn many of the costumes, some have come from NFLT’S costume collection, second hand stores and actors’ closets.

Nina is no stranger to NFLT. She has been involved with the group in one way or another for the past 25 years. Her daughter Nancy was in "Alice in Wonderland”, the very first production. Nina has produced many of the group’s 54 plays and held various roles in the NFLT executive, including president and treasurer. She also organizes, maintains, and often helps apply the make-up. From publicity, creating posters, writing articles, ticket sales, running the front of the house, and even turning the floor lights on and off, Nina has been an important member of NFLT for many years and in many ways!

Born Nina Miller, she grew up on a farm near Cloyne, the 8th of 17 children. Her father was a farmer who worked in logging camps during the winters. Her seven brothers helped her father with the farming, while she and her nine sisters worked in the house and garden. Her mother maintained the home, feeding and clothing everyone, and that meant a lot of sewing and making clothes fit as the kids grew. Nina learned to sew from her mother. Starting with sewing doll blankets, the first real outfit she made was at 16, when she made a red halter dress for an older sister's wedding. Nina continues to sew, making quilts and children's clothing for craft fairs and for her two grandchildren.

At 17, Nina started teaching near Bancroft. Five years later she married Lorne Jenkins, who taught at SLHS. Nina taught in this area for many years until she retired 12 years ago. When she's not making costumes Nina loves to travel, often with a retired teachers’ group and one or more sisters. She's had extended trips to Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales as well as Egypt, Greece, New Zealand and Australia. To osffset the hours she spends bent over a sewing machine, Nina keeps herself in shape with golfing, exercise and walking.

Tickets for the" Wizard of Oz" are now available at Gray's Grocery and the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy as well as Verona Rona Hardware. Adults are $12, students $10 and on the Sunday matinee there is a special $5 rate to encourage families with children to attend. Don't wait to get your tickets at the door, they may be sold out. Check www.nflt.ca for more information or call John at 279-2662.

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