Sports or Theater?
By Simon Hodgson In a room deep below the bustling crowd, performers prepare for a great entertainment spectacle. They put masks over their heads, they cover their bodies with brightly colored outfits, they rub greasepaint on their faces. As they step out into the arena, the crowd roars. Is this a grand drama on the stage of The Geary, or the Super Bowl? Manford (Tim Liu, right ) gives his pitch to Coach Saul (Arye Gross, left ) in A.C.T.'s production of The Great Leap . Photo by Kevin Berne. The idea of performance—sporting or theatrical—is full of crossover, and costume is just one shared element. While we are used to seeing actors transfigure to create three-dimensional characters onstage, the same transformation takes place in the world of sports. Think of football players, layering their bodies with helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, and mouthguards, or ice hockey goaltenders donning wire-mesh faceguards and throat protectors. These “costumes” are just as essential as