Ruth Abelson began working with the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka 13 years ago as a set designer, but when her talent and passion for sewing was discovered, she quickly became the company’s head costume designer.
Now Abelson designs and produces the costumes for two shows a year. She sews and fits nearly every piece herself — no easy feat, considering that productions can often have casts that number over 80. For the 2005 staging of “Beauty and the Beast,” Abelson fondly recalls the challenge of making all the teacups, plates, and other outfits for the Beast’s enchanted servants.
What Abelson loves the most, however, are the kids, many of whom she stays in touch with through high school and beyond.
“They’ve been so much a part of my life,” she says. “It’s so strange to be honored for something that is my favorite thing to do in my life. I feel like I should be honoring them.”