The show must go on: Fire destroys acting company's costumes

By Ava Wilhite

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A house fire on James Island gutted the inside of a home belonging to a beloved children's costume designer.

The fire left one family without a place to live, but also took the costumes and fabric for an upcoming Charleston Youth Company production.

But even with a show on the line, the company is making sure it first takes care of one of their own.

"I was devastated and I got here and everybody kind of came together to do as much as they can to help Beth and help get costumes and all of her equipment," said Emily Lanter, member of the senior company. {}

Beth Hyams is the costume designer for the Charleston Youth Company. Hyams and her family escaped the house fire Tuesday, but lost dozens of finished costumes and all of the fabric and equipment for future costumes.

Lanter said Hyams is a critical member of the team at the company and the students are planning to do whatever they can to help.{}

"We're going to have sewing days, where we come in and help Beth sew different costumes and get everything to do with the show," said Lanter. {}

Chuck Long, the company's producer and founder, said it took no time for the arts community to come together.

"Within I would say 15-20 minutes, she had sent out a text to our Board of Directors, and our Parent Advisory Board. It was just unbelievable how fast people were organizing and doing things and putting things together for Beth," said Long.

He said he met with Hyams and they made a plan for what to do next.

"I told her, 'You just go ahead and re-order everything get whatever you need to get,'" he said. "'I said, 'The show goes on.'"

The company still has a few weeks until its next performance at the Sotille Theatre on April 25 and 26.

Long said they are looking for extra hands to help sew the new costumes. If you would like to help, you can email him at