Dramatic Flourishes

Our lead thespian says that when it comes to fashion, something simple with a touch of flair is all it takes.

Photograph by Luigi CiuffetelliThere’s dressing for the part—then there’s dressing for the part in Anne Marie Cammarato’s world, which is swathed in (forever) plaid and Technicolor (dream) coats.

“I’m really inspired by our shows,” says Cammarato, the 38-year-old behind all things artistic at the Delaware Theatre Company. “It’s all about running with the theme. When we did ‘Forever Plaid,’ I found this fantastic sequined shirt that looked plaid at certain angles. I just had to have it for opening night. I like to add a little drama.”

Thalia and Melpomene would likely agree with Cammarato, who, with her behind-the-curtain and center stage split fashion personalities, perfectly complements the goddesses’ two faces of drama.

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“I have the luxury of working behind the scenes,” she says. Her gig includes casting, choosing directors, working with the board on the long-term artistic vision for the theater and working with set design. “Most days I can go to work in jeans and sneakers, which is what I’m most comfortable in.”

(For the record, this drama queen keeps it simple when it comes to denim. “I’m a Levis girl,” she says proudly.)

But Cammarato isn’t always watching from backstage.

“I’m often in the lobby greeting patrons, addressing the crowd and just being seen,” she says. “In these situations, I prefer clothes that are simple, elegant, a little theatrical. I’m really a sucker for black clothing. I guess that’s a function of working in theater.”

Lately, however, Cammarato has been segueing into flash and sparkle.

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“I think one piece here or there, peppering in some color, is an easy way for me to up the flair,” she says.

Cammarato enjoys fashion for its cathartic nature. “It really taps into and draws out the artist in me. I love ‘Project Runway’ and very theatrical clothing and costumes.”

She covets shoes—“red, red shoes” she says with a contented sigh—and whimsical, oversized cocktail rings.

“I think it’s an effort to draw attention away from my fingernails, which are often in bad shape,” she says with a laugh. “I like the fact that I can change one simple thing, like earrings or a ring, and it totally changes how I feel about myself. I can go from behind the stage to in front of the audience, no problem.”

A self-proclaimed non-fashionista, she enjoys fashion for its cathartic nature.

“It really taps into and draws out the artist in me,” she says. “I love ‘Project Runway’ and very theatrical clothing and costumes.”

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Though she loves the thespian spin on style, she defines her own look as casual and no-nonsense.

“I like to keep things simple,” she says. “It’s easier for me to add a pop of drama to my appearance with a well-chosen piece than to go all out in a fancy dress.”

She adores skirts, pantsuits and all things Eileen Fisher and Black House/White Market. “I don’t like to dress in all one label,” she says. “I don’t want to look uniform at all.”

There certainly isn’t anything uniform about Cammarato’s day. She can go from working on stage lighting to getting caught up in the sweeping, visual magic unfolding on stage. “I’m always busy and on the go,” she says. “I have to dress for my audience. You really can’t go wrong if that’s the way you approach it.”

She laughs before adding, “But I’m not a fashionista.”

Really? Had us fooled. Must be those acting chops.

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