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Norman theater launches program to make protective masks, raise money

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Sooner Mask

Homemade masks on Sooner Theatre's Facebook.

Norman's Sooner Theatre has launched a new program to make protective masks for the community during quarantine. 

Sewing for The Sooner introduces ways to personalize protective masks and allows people to improve their sewing skills with helpful tips. The series is offering the masks for donation and Zoom classes for the community. 

Professional Sooner Theatre costumer, mother and teacher Kristine Butler is sewing the masks and giving the classes. According to Sewing for The Sooner, each donation made will contribute to the community's health and will support Sooner Theatre’s future performances, concerts and educational opportunities, according to the theater's website.

“For years, I would hear from people that they had bought a sewing machine and it was still in the box because they didn’t know where to start, so with everyone being homebound, I thought now was a good time to help people learn about their sewing machine,” Butler said. “I also wanted to do something to get donations to Sooner Theatre.” 

Sooner Theatre public relations and development director Nancy Coggins said five productions and about 20 camps will possibly be rescheduled or canceled due to social distancing. 

“Summer camp tuition and shows are what get us through until October each year. If we lose summer, we may not be able to recover,” Coggins said. “And, if we can recover, we will certainly not be the same organization. We already work with the smallest staff, and reductions will result in far less programming and productions.” 

Sewing for The Sooner is accepting online donations starting at $5 per mask to help supply materials. Donors will receive one mask and an additional one will be given to local medical personnel. 

Those who are interested in signing up for classes to make protective gear and receive advice for personal sewing projects can contact the Sooner Theatre by visiting its website. 

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