Traveling Pants

In the early 1980s, UT drama student Randy Lawson (’82) wore a pair of gray Hollywood-style trousers in his role as a student newspaper writer in the Clarence Brown Theatre production of James Thurber’s The Male Animal.

“They were period pants,” says Lawson. “Like you would find in a Goodwill store.”

In recent months in New York City, Lawson has been the production stage manager for the Peccadillo Theatre’s production of William Inge’s A Loss of Roses. As it happens, Marianne Custer—who has been teaching costume design to UT students for more than thirty-five years—designed the costumes for A Loss of Roses and had shipped a box of vintage clothing from the Clarence Brown costume storage basement to Peccadillo to be used in the play.

“We were in the second day of rehearsals,” says Lawson, “and Marianne was doing fittings upstairs. All of a sudden, I get a call: ‘Marianne has something to show you.’”

Lawson says that in her hands was a pair of gray, cuffed pants with his name stenciled into them. After more than thirty years, Lawson and his pants were reunited.

The show’s leading man, Ben Kahre, wore the traveling pants throughout the run of the play, which ended June 7.

“I think Ben got tired of hearing our joke that he was in my pants all the time,” says Lawson.

Ben Kahre, wearing UT alum Randy Lawson’s pants, starred with Jean Lichty in the recent New York run of William Inge’s A Loss of Roses.

Ben Kahre, wearing UT alum Randy Lawson’s pants, starred with Jean Lichty in the recent New York run of William Inge’s A Loss of Roses.

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