Allegheny Graduate’s Custom Costumes Featured In Stage, Film, And Television
Amid the whirr of the sewing machines in Allegheny College’s Costume Shop, Zoe (Aaron) Regan `13 discovered a calling — one that would lead to her work being featured in major productions like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Lion King on Broadway.
“I didn’t know that I wanted to work in a costume shop when I started at Allegheny, but my amazing experience with the theatre department faculty helped me realize that this was what I wanted to do with my life,” says Regan, who majored in theatre and minored in psychology and English. “I was lucky enough to have two wonderful costume shop managers in my time at Allegheny who taught me the basics of not only how to build and alter costumes, but also how costume shops function.”
Today, she is a business manager for Timberlake Studios, a New York-based costume studio. The company creates custom costumes for stage, film, television, and promotion based on the direction of costume designers. Although Regan focuses mainly on administrative tasks, she is also a skilled costume technician. When she is not managing projects or bookkeeping, she can be found working on costumes.
“It’s so exciting to see garments that I helped to make in action,” Regan says. “My absolute favorite thing is getting tickets to a Broadway show and whispering to my wife, ‘I made that’ about a costume on stage.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College, Regan moved to New York City to tour costume shops and ended up working temporarily at a few theaters. She first heard of Timberlake Studios when she volunteered to stitch for their fundraiser. Less than a year after graduation, Regan landed a permanent position as a stitcher at Timberlake Studios. Later, she gained administrative experience when the studio acquired a custom glove manufacturer. Regan worked under the subsidiary, Wing and Weft Gloves, for two and a half years but eventually migrated back to the parent company.
Regan appreciates how her major at Allegheny allowed her to get involved with all parts of theatre since it’s such a collaborative field — acting, lighting, and backstage experience have all contributed to her craft in some way. She also credits Allegheny with developing her professional skills, as she can write in different styles, analyze information, and have meaningful conversations with a diversity of people.
“Allegheny’s greatest asset is that the professors and staff care so deeply about the students. Every professor I had worked hard to be sure I was learning everything I could— I have friendships with many of my professors to this day,” says Regan. “I’m certain that I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now if I had gone to one of those big universities with 400 students in a lecture hall.”