It looks like Valley High School’s Drama club will get to have a dress rehearsal after all.

Multiple schools in the region rallied to support the club’s upcoming production of “The Addams Family” after the costumes they ordered never showed up.

The club’s sponsor fears they were scammed to the tune of $8,000 when they tried to order rental costumes from an online supplier.

Costumes and props were expected to arrive earlier this week ahead of their show’s scheduled run April 11-14.

The club paid The Staging Workshop for the costumes but nothing arrived, and the company’s website no longer works, drama club sponsor Brian Krugle said.

“The company we rented them from has basically completely disappeared,” he said. “We have nothing to show for it.”

Multiple messages seeking comment from officials of The Staging Workshop were not returned Thursday. The company’s website appears to have been shut down.

Facing the prospect of the 32-member cast having to take the stage without costumes, Krugle put out a call for help Wednesday to Pittsburgh-area schools and theaters. The response, he said, was quick and overwhelming.

“Schools from all over Western Pennsylvania reached out,” he said. “To be honest, I can’t keep up with all of the messages.”

Krugle said it looks like Valley will be getting help from Hempfield, which staged “The Addams Family” in March, and Plum, which performed it in 2022. Other schools from across the region have offered to provide other things that might be needed.

“It looks like we’re going to be in good shape,” he said.

Linda Comm, the spring musical director at Hempfield, said they found out about Valley’s need within minutes of a posting in a Southwestern Pennsylvania theater group. She then got in touch with Valley’s musical staff, who is expected to come Friday morning to pick up the costumes.

“We just finished the show and have everything they should need, so I offered to share at no charge,” said Comm, who teaches English and theater at Hempfield Area High School. “We are big believers in working together with other theaters in the area.”

Quaker Valley also staged Addams Family this year, and has reached out to Krugle, said Austin Wolford, Quaker Valley’s musical director.

“We do have some things. I have my costume team on it,” he said. “We’re trying to track down some of the stuff that we had. We took it to get cleaned after we closed. We are on it, and, hopefully, we can get in touch with Valley and help them out.”

In his 16 years as sponsor, Krugle said this was the first time they tried renting costumes for the musical instead of making their own or borrowing them from other schools.

“We wanted to try to switch it up this year and match the actual look as closely as we could,” he said.

When New Kensington resident Nancy Monaco learned on Wednesday that the status of the student’s costumes was uncertain, she jumped into action to create some key outfits — as she’s done for many previous school productions.

“I have a big stash of fabric,” Monaco said. “I got home and started digging around in what I have and cutting out things. I’m going to make whatever they need me to make.

“I’ve been doing it for a long time. My kids are as old as the parents who are here now.”

By Thursday evening’s rehearsal, Monaco had costumes ready for fittings with junior Alexandra Thomey, who is playing the role of Morticia, and sophomore Emma Wiles, who will portray daughter Wednesday.

“It’s absolutely stunning,” Thomey said of Morticia’s long black dress with flared sleeves and ruffled material. “I’m thrilled with what (Monaco) was able to do in the time she was given.”

Thomey and Wiles also had praise for the theater groups at other schools that are stepping up to offer assistance.

“It’s amazing that everybody is willing to help,” Wiles said.

“It was really great to see how welcoming the theater community was,” Thomey added.

Krugle said the Valley drama team began talking with The Staging Workshop in January, after it responded to the club’s posts on Facebook requesting recommendations. The contract was signed and payment was completed in February, with delivery promised by April 1.

Krugle said he last spoke with someone from the company Tuesday, who promised everything was being packed, tracking information would be given by the end of that day and it would be delivered by this coming weekend.

No tracking information has been given and the company has gone silent since then, he said.

The $8,000 spent for the costume rental came from the club’s booster account, which is filled by fundraising.

The club has filed a report with its bank, Citizens, to try to recoup the money, Krugle said. He filed a report with New Kensington police Thursday.

Because the club usually would spend about $3,000 on costumes for its biggest shows, the potential loss of that money is a huge impact, Krugle said.

“Hopefully, people come out and support the kids. The situation we’re in right now is no fault of their own,” he said. “The community response in Western Pennsylvania has been overwhelming and amazing. I can’t thank everybody who has reached out to us enough.”

This isn’t the first time the region’s theater community has rallied to the aid of a high school production.

In February of last year, a fire at Elizabeth Forward High School destroyed the sets and costumes for the school’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Dozens of other schools in the region pitched in, raising money and donating sets, costumes and musical instruments.

A month later, in March 2023, a fire at a Buffalo, N.Y., theatrical supplier destroyed costumes set to be shipped to Belle Vernon High School for its production of “Anastasia.” Again, schools from around the region mobilized, and Belle Vernon had costumes in time for its shows to go on as planned.

The Valley High School Drama Club already has had an opportunity to help another high school theatrical troupe in need.

People associated with East Allegheny High School posted on Facebook that their follow spotlight blew out. So Krugle contacted them and the Valley High drama club is lending theirs. East Allegheny’s show also is next weekend.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a TribLive reporter covering news in New Kensington, Arnold and Plum. A Pittsburgh native and graduate of Penn State University's Schreyer Honors College, Brian has been with the Trib since December 2000. He can be reached at

If you go
Who: Valley High School Drama Club
What: "The Addams Family"
When: 7 p.m. April 11-13; 2 p.m. April 14
Where: Valley High School auditorium, New Kensington
Tickets: $12; $10 students and seniors; $5 children kindergarten and younger