KENT, Ohio - A local outreach ministry performing arts troupe from Akron is heading to London to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympics and they're getting a helping hand from some local professors.
While the group had to commit the majority of their funds just for travel, three associate professors from Kent State University's School of Fashion Design and Merchandising have stepped up and donated their time to design more than 30 costumes for the group.
The costumes, created by Sherry Schofield-Tomschin, Linda Ohrn-McDaniel and Vince Quevedo are almost complete and will be worn by the L.I.O.N. Players. L.I.O.N (Life Isn't Only Now) Players is an outreach ministry based out of Akron which uses the performing arts (drama, mime, dance, testimonies, and music) to connect with the audience, to pray with people, and to introduce them to Jesus. The group also performed at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 and the Athens Olympics in 2004.
"We're doing it for fun," Schofield-Tomschin said in a press release. "It was a chance for us to design something we hadn't done before. It gave us a chance to think about the concept and come up with a design to work in a different medium from what we normally do."
Between the three designers, it took close to 150 hours to design and create the costumes. The performance by L.I.O.N. Players will consist of a dozen dancers portraying characters and animals as part of the stories of creation and the Garden of Eden. L.I.O.N. Players paid for the materials, while the associate professors donated the designs and the labor to create the costumes at Rockwell Hall, home of Kent State's Fashion School and the Kent State University Museum.
A costumed rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m. at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, located at 555 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road in Fairlawn.