Scenography, Pratice


An Approach to Projects in Scenography | Acclaimed and Awards | Novelties




Joyful Cousins

Sinbad the Sailor

The Ladies Man

Emerita Emerencia

Ruth Griffin

My Louisiana Sky

The Lower Depths



Joyful Cousins

a Ballet de Cour, Seeking a Collaborator, 2005-


Ao Kuang and Quetzalcoatl, who brought rains to the people, meet, accompanied by their retinues in a mythical timespace between Guilin and Machu Picchu. The filmed rear projections are red screen compositions that propel their spirits into that space. This animated backdrop supports choreography of dancers and puppeteers.

This proposal, © Valérie C. Kaelin, 2005. Seeking serious collaborators for production.


Joyful Cousins, a Ballet de Cour. Set Proposal. 2005. Photo: Mina Momeni.

Joyful Cousins, a Ballet de Cour. Set Proposal Detail. Photo: Danielle Grattage, 2005.

Joyful Cousins, a Ballet de Cour. Projection Schema. 2005.


Joyful Cousins, a Ballet de Cour. Select Projections. 2005.

Joyful Cousins, a Ballet de Cour. Quetzalcoatl and Retinue. 2005.



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Sinbad the Sailor

Costume Designer for a Dark Ride in Seoul, Korea’s Jamsil Station Lotte World, 2007.
Art Director: Martin Schreiner, “you were my butterfly.”
Producers: Artistry Entertainment International, Burbank.


Due to his untimely death, the gentlemanly producer Mike Chisman was unable to forward production documentation.

The wellspring for the designs was inspired by a Persian miniature populated by fantastical beings resembling those of the Odyssey. (Michael Zizis would later introduce me to Mary Renault’s Alexandrian Trilogy that vivifies the syncretism of the Greco-Middle Eastern world.) Martin paid me the compliment of accepting the trumpeters’ proposal. I am indebted to his polished photographs of heads-in-progress, worthy of the Renaissance masters.

Thank you to Jackie Santizo for introducing me to the team and assigning the superlative costume design assistant, Lindsey Gordon.

To those who would travel to Seoul to work: The availability of silks, synthetic leathers and dance fabrics; trimmings and outstanding customer service will enchant you. Be forewarned: bring your own dressmaking pins and millinery supplies, which are non-existent there. The aluminum pins crumple into zigzags rather than pierce an even medium “hand.”

Only the bridal industry retains a monopoly on the latter, which will not be sold to you under any circumstance.


Skeleton with Sword 2.

Evil Sorcerer

Swatch for Evil Sorcerer.


Man with Lance / Ax / Spear (Sorcerer’s Attendants)

The Grim Reaper (Japanese: Ghost that appears at sea during a shipwreck.)

The Princess at Court


Swatches for Princess at Court

Sinbad at Court.

Swatch for Sinbad at Court


Figures at Court


Swatch for Trumpeters. Each of the Six Figures had cuffs of a different contrasting colour, playing on the harmonies of the fabric.


A Sculpt for a Trumpeter Character Head. Courtesy of Martin Schreiner.

A Sculpt for a Trumpeter Character Head. Courtesy of Martin Schreiner.



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The Ladies Man

A Feature Film, Drafter / Set Designer, 1999.
Under Production Designer Franco DeCottis and Art Director Cheryl Toy.


Enjoyable drafting projects.


The Docks - Location Site Plan.

The Yacht—Ground Plan.

The Yacht—Non-Reflected Ceiling Plan


The Yacht - Elevations

Gimbled Window.



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Emerita Emerencia

Storyteller,  for whom I designed costumes, modular sets and props for several productions, with a refreshing carte blanche. Work toured Ontario, the US, the Caribbean and Africa.


A full gallery of Food For Thought (1996)that travelled to Kenya during the IDEA ’98 World Congress of Drama/Theatre and Education will be shown soon.

Williams, Dawn. “Emerita Emerencia.” Who’s who in Black Canada 2: Black Success and Black Excellence in Canada: A Contemporary Directory. Vol. 2. University of Toronto Press, 2006, 131.


Stories My Grandmother Told Me, 1993.

Leap into Summer: The Indonesian Princess. 2002. Photo: Susanne Jeffery, 2004 for La Scénographie de la Sirène. The School of Image Arts Gallery.

Leap Into Summer: La Sirena. 2002. Photo: Susanne Jeffery, 2004 for La Scénographie de la Sirène. The School of Image Arts Gallery. The costume took six months to construct.


Fall Into Fall. Tree. 2004.

Fall Into Fall: Eartha: Headdress. 2004.

Fall Into Fall: Eartha: Costumed, with branches. 2004.


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Ruth Griffin


Sunset Passage. Detail of Costume Rendering.

Sunset Passage. Schema for bi-furcated costume.

Sunset Passage. Detail of Dye-Painted Fabric.


Sunset Passage. Stage Photo.

Sunset Passage. Stage Photo in Silhouette.



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My Louisiana Sky

Art Director, Feature Film, 2001
Under Production Designer Doug McCullough.
A Hyperion Film.


Transforming the downtown core of Port Hope, 2001 into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1957.
Creating Thomson’s Nursery.
Resident consultant on Southern botanicals and hurricanes!

Link to Film:
My Louisiana Sky (2001) 5/7 - Cue to: 9:35—11:45


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The Lower Depths

Scenographer, 1988.
Director: Ines Buchli
Costumes: Not documented.       
Lighting:  Not documented.
York University Main Stage.
Photographs: Drew

Yet another subterranean piece; but using architectural forms. The audience was seated on the stage. The Shakespearean festival-styled Stage was transformed into a Victorian industrial building by adding arching wedges, muntins and mullions to the stage’s fenestration, a fire escape and a furnace cum garbage bin. In Acts I, II, IV, the stage floor and inner below represent the basement, with a staircase to the property owner’s street level quarters. In Act III, the stage floor represents the rear alley of the building, with the fire escape up to the landlady’s bedroom balcony above. Street properties and stage hands dressed as construction workers complemented the alleyway scene. Total material’s budget, by using stock and scavenging the streets: $800.00.


Lower Depths. Maquette of the retrofitted Burton Auditorium in Act I and II configuration.

Acts I and II. The Basement.

Act III. The Alley


Act III. Stage right detail of Anna’s corner.

Act IV. The Basement.

Act IV. Peppel’s quarters are boarded up.


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Please exercise the courtesy of mentioning my collaborators. It means a lot to them.