Fairbanks thieves steal costume parts from visiting performers

Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Thieves stole costume parts over the weekend from a Mexican dance group after two performances for school children.

About 16 pieces of costumes from the Ballet Gran Folklorico de Mexico, including a prop resembling an Aztec headpiece, were taken after the group gave two performances for 2,600 students Friday, said Herta Prechtel, executive director of the Fairbanks Concert Association.

''It's just odds and ends, pieces here and pieces there,'' Prechtel said. ''But for the company that is touring for two months, it's much more of a pain than dollar loss.''

The group performed again Saturday night at Hering Auditorium, a school district facility, in the concert association's first presentation of the season. After quick choreographing to compensate for the missing costume parts, the show went on.

Prechtel said a $500 reward was offered for the return of the costumes before the dance company left Fairbanks on Sunday. No one claimed the reward.

''It's so embarrassing this happened in Fairbanks,'' she said.

Dave Ferree, physical plant director for the Fairbanks North Star School District, said he's reviewing auditorium procedures.

About 90 minutes before the Saturday performance, the troupe also found its sound and light systems disturbed. Somebody had unplugged cords in the sound and light booth and plugged them into different slots.

Prechtel said the sound and light portion of the show takes about two days to program into a computer. Auditorium staff members had to manually operate the systems.

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