Raelene Liljeberg, the very talented Costume Designer for Les Misérables, is a Nashua, New Hampshire native and “proud of it!” Raelene loves working on “period costume-based” productions so was thrilled to lead the costume effort for this production.
Although Raelene has appeared on stage in the past she gets the greatest satisfaction from the audience’s reaction when the curtain opens and they see the cast for the first time on stage in costumes she has designed. Her most rewarding effort was costuming Mame, she recalls “when the curtain opened and the audience saw the men in red hunting jackets, white pants, boots and top hats and the ladies in red & white themed gowns they applauded – that made my day!!”
Raelene has been involved with the Actorsingers for 46 years in one capacity or another, on every main stage production, she says “I was primarily costuming with my dear friend and mentor, the late Penny Tamulonis, and of course with my late husband John who directed many productions in Actorsingers and with the high school.”
When asked about the most challenging aspect of costuming Les Misérables “the number of cast members was not an issue, but the multiple characters they assumed during any one particular scene and with very little off-stage time to change meant recreating with a minimum of down time.”
Raelene needs to do quite a bit of research before she starts on costumes “once I know I am costuming a show I try to start as soon as possible, I usually have an idea already in place for the costumes then I proceed to see what inventory is available from our well-stocked costume room” She goes on to say “time spent is not merely on rehearsal days but 7 days a week, right up to opening night! Sewing is almost a lost art now, which is sad, and I hope to keep it alive with Actorsingers as long as I am physically able.”
Raelene’s earliest theatre memory was with her mother she “would take me to New York once a year and we would always go to Radio City Music Hall. My first Actorsingers’ production was Desert Song and knew then I wanted to be involved!”
When Raelene is not costuming she works full time as an office administrator for a local real estate firm but she is never far away from costuming as she also maintains the costume room for Actorsingers as well as manages all rentals to other groups and schools throughout the year.