I first met Lance in June 1983 when he was the director at The New Players Company, a summer theater program for young adults in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It was my first costume design position and while I wasn’t young, I was very naive about what was required of me. My background, except for working briefly in the Broadway costume shops, was in the garment center, not theater. We did The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Count Dracula together that summer.
In his gentle way, he guided and taught me so much. He came with me to The Costume Collection and helped me pull and coordinate outfits. He showed me how fabrics and colors reacted under stage lights. He helped me plan for fast changes and dealing with the volunteer dressers that are so much a part of summer stock.
And he was always a gentleman, in the old-fashioned sense of that word. One courtesy of his, and Bryan’s, that stands out in my mind is one night when we were delayed in NJ and had to take a late bus back to the city, how Lance insisted that the two of them wait with me outside the not (too safe in ’83) Port Authority until my crosstown bus came. They were both exhausted but they waited with me over an hour until my bus finally came.
The next show Lance and I did together was in an upper west side church basement in October of that same year. It was Daydreams, the first play of a new writer, Deborah Novak. This time the budget and the anticipated audience were much smaller. But Lance still treated the show as if it was to be the most important event in all of New York City – same as he did with all of his productions. He gave his all – and then some.
I left costumes for a while and pursued other interests. But when I returned, I again worked with Lance and Bryan in October, 2002 on Occupation: Dragon Slayer and Isolated Isles. Because of Lance’s guidance and fantastic eye, I am very proud of the work I did then and have included it in my portfolio. Unfortunately, that was the last time I worked with him.
These last few years, mostly because of bad timing, I have been unable to even see any of Lance’s shows. I always though ‘Well, I’ll see the next one.’ But now, unfortunately, he is gone. He will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know him. May he rest in peace.