Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, UNC Charlotte (2008)
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.
Allie Dillard’s journey to Broadway started the minute she stepped off the graduation stage.
“My first job was A Tuna Christmas with Carolina Actors Studio Theatre,” she says. “I actually left my graduation party early to get to the show on time.”
Her work with the local theatre soon led her to Washington, D.C., where she began her professional costuming career in earnest. She has worked at the Kennedy Center, Fords Theatre, Signature Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company – all the nation’s capital.
“I have gotten to work on tons of really incredible shows and met fantastic artists.”
When the musical Come from Away – which tells the true story of post-9/11 travelers stranded in a small town in Canada – moved from Fords Theatre to Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Allie moved with it. Living now in Secaucus, New Jersey, just outside of New York City, she has been the show’s dresser for three years. “It’s been an honor to get to help tell this true story,” she says.
“I make sure the costumes look the same on opening night as they do on closing. Lots of laundry, ironing, steaming, and repairs. I also make sure that the costume changes that happen during the show occur without incident. Setting up quick changes, presetting costumes, and running a track - a list of actions during the show that have to happen to make sure the show runs seamlessly.”
Allie began building her skill set while a student at UNC Charlotte. “I was always given the opportunity to learn and grow in the areas I was interested in, even if there was no actual program available.” Wardrobe wasn’t an established class at the time, but her advisor set up an independent study. “That really gave me a great base to set out in the professional world.”
Above all, her education at UNC Charlotte gave her the courage and confidence to put herself out there.
“I had great professors who prepared me to go out and work and encouraged me to always keep growing. You never want to be the big fish in the small pond. Always be the least experienced person in the room. That’s how you grow.”