Sunday, April 3, 2011


Set model for Cinderella's Castle

I spent the morning yesterday painting the upper panels of Cinderella's Palace. For the past seven years I have been one of the designer/ painters of the theatrical sets for Circus Juventas' Summer Shows. Each year has a different theme, and this year is titled "Grimm" and weaves five stories by the Grimm brothers in and out of the spectacular circus acts. Since I also work with the artistic director, Betty Butler, writing the script I am very familiar with the set and prop needs to make certain the storyline is clear. This year our story begins with Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in their cottage researching and writing their fairytales late into the night. Books lying everywhere, oil lamps burning, candles melting and large feathered quills scattered about will create the setting of a wonderful opening scene! Beyond their cottage lies the village and marketplace as well as the elegant palace on the hill. Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Cap, and Rapunzel are the five stories interwoven throughout the show and the familiar characters from each of these tales live their everyday lives in the village, palace, or nearby woods. We have written lots of surprises into the script and added comedy and humor to offset the intrinsic darkness of the original Grimm stories.

Jacob and Wilhelm's cottage is nearly done and the palace is beginning to sparkle. By day I paint picture books using a very small brush in the quiet of my studio, by nights and weekends, I paint sets letting arms fly with large brushes while all around me kids, ages 2 to 21 are flying through the air or tumbling over mats. The script and the sets are just guidelines and atmosphere~ it is the wildly talented performers and their choreographers and directors who bring the show to life. I can"t wait!

For photos and stories of set production of past Circus Juventas shows visit my website.

1 comment:

  1. You are such an amazing inspiration to Circus Juventas- I am so excited for this years show! It is ethereal and magical, wickedly evil, and wildly comedic in places! The best is yet to come with Bello bringing his brilliance too!