On The Road with LSU Alumna Rebecca Williams05/23/2018
BATON ROUGE - LSU alumna Rebecca Williams has traveled the United States by train, plane and bus.
“I’ve been to about 38 states, just touring,” said Williams.
Williams graduated from LSU in 2006. She entered the College of Music & Dramatic Arts to study performance, but then quickly changed her major to costume design and construction.
“The entire department was fantastic. I had some really great professors who really rallied for me and created classes for me to make sure I got everything I could for costume design and construction.”
Since then, she has been in charge of the costumes for some of the country’s biggest productions. After graduating from LSU she worked for the Swine Palace theater in Baton Rouge, then she headed on the road with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“I started off as an assistant, then I got the job as wardrobe head. And I was wardrobe head for about four years before the show closed. And then they brought me over here as an assistant and I helped build this show, ‘Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes,’” Williams said.
The live-action show brings together Spider-Man, Iron Man and other Marvel superheroes to face off against the villains with acrobats and aerialists, fire and motorcycles. Williams said for this show, she’s responsible for the more than 100 different costumes worn by 40 different performers, to make sure the show and the costumes look the same every day.
“While it’s not our job to design the costumes, we have to make sure the integrity is kept in the play,” Williams said. “In a way, it’s very similar to what I did on the circus, because the circus has very similar damage except in different spots. On the Marvel show, damage would be things like knees or other blow outs due to them taking falls and that type of thing. We have a consistently full repair rack after every show, we’re not bored.”
Williams has been on the road for 10 years and said touring is not boring either.
“There’s an urgency on the road. There’s a creative aspect as to problem solving that has to happen on the road. You also gain tight knit communities on the road for the fact that you all have to work together to get something accomplished. And no matter what happens, you’re in this together, you’re not alone,” said Williams.
Even while on the road, she still shares her passion for LSU and keeps in touch with her former teachers and classmates.
“When I lived on the circus train, you could have whatever you want because you had your own room. So, I used to have an LSU jersey and hats. And one of our drivers used to call me ‘LSU,’ said Williams. “I made a lot of really good friends and it was something I always wanted, I always wanted to go to LSU.”
Williams grew up in Baton Rouge and was the first grandchild in her family to graduate from LSU.
“My grandfather always took a lot of pride in that. He sadly never got to see me graduate, but my grandmother made it to my graduation. My grandfather went to LSU in the 1930s, and he was the first person in his family to graduate from college.”
During Rebecca’s time at LSU, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, forcing the university to respond to help others in need.
“We took in a lot of students from New Orleans universities at that time. And I just saw professors go above and beyond to help their students succeed, whether they came from other schools or not,” said Williams. “LSU is a great place to grow as a person in multiple ways. We had a good time there and at the same time, we had a good time in class and learning. I always felt like I had people who cared about me there.”
Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Media Relations