On top of laughs, Comedy Central recently served up its share of smiles — and tutorial gear — for Burbank Unified students and teachers.
The cable channel donated approximately $5,000 worth of costumes, props, furniture and other equipment to the local school district, and the donations were gleefully accepted by Burbank High School’s drama department on Saturday afternoon.
“These are the donations that allow our drama department to remain among the best, and we’re so appreciative,” said Karen Broderick, Burbank High’s technical theater instructor. “Not only do these donations help us stage productions, but they’re also valuable teaching tools.”
Broderick and some of her students spent a good part of Saturday sifting through a large cargo container filled with items that included furniture, draperies and costumes from multiple shows.
One donation that stood out to Broderick was a set of three identical wedding dresses — one for a lead actress in filming a scene, another for a photo double and another for a stunt double.
“It’s nice to have a backup, so if one gets dirty, you have a reserve,” Broderick said. “But it’s a good learning tool for our kids to understand that when the picture double or stunt double is needed for filming, they don’t have to wait to change. They’re ready to go.”
Broderick added, “You never think about those things unless you’re in the industry or have these professional tools, in our case.”
Broderick said she was also pleased to receive a few show bibles, which lay out information about all of the characters, set designs, wardrobe pieces and various other aspects regarding a show’s production.
“There was a costume book that wonderfully shows how extensive the records are for everything used in a show,” Broderick said. “There were Polaroids of what every single piece of furniture looked like, how it was to be used, how many times it was to be used and when it should be used. If you want to learn how to properly document, look no further.”
Burbank sophomore Noah Beaudoin, who works as a journeyman lighting designer on school productions, was interested in the sets and props from the concluded Comedy Central sitcom “Another Period.”
The show was a period-piece comedy that took place in the early 1900s.
“A lot of our student-written and student-directed plays are period pieces,” Beaudoin said. “The period pieces we just got from Comedy Central, we’re going to incorporate that into our plays, for sure.”
Burbank senior David Harutyunyan, a lighting designer, said the timepiece donations add a sense of authenticity.
“When you have better props and sets, the stories really do come to life,” Harutyunyan said. “We appreciate it all, especially the costumes. We’re going to get a lot of use out of those.”
Peggy Flynn, Burbank Unified’s arts and career technical education coordinator, said the district has been grateful for its relationship with Viacom affiliates Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
“All the Viacom subsidiary studios have been so generous,” Flynn said. “Their equipment sunsets anywhere from every 18 months to three years, so Nickelodeon, and now Comedy Central, have donated their gear ... It’s brand new to us, and it is very much appreciated.”