Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Big new update in the portfolio section! Two new film projects, two new theater projects, and some new illustrations. Check it out!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Well, another film completed! The MOS project I was working on for AFI Cinematographer Antonio Cisneros is done, and it looked fantastic! Very excited to see this one once it's completed. It was shot on film in black and white, which was a fun challenge. Doesn't look too shabby in color either!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Well! This crazy quarter is slowly winding to a close. Sorry for the sparse updates over the past few months!

Copenhagen has been going really well. I finally got signed off on my designs giving me the go ahead to get started. First fittings next week! There are only three actors who don't have any costume changes, but I'm actually really excited to do a show this small. It's giving me the chance to really take the time to think about every minute detail on the costumes to make sure that they are perfect. Also, the play itself is beautiful and it's set in such a fascinating time and place (Copenhagen, Denmark during WWII). I'll post more info about the show in January for anyone who is interested in seeing it!

Another small project I'm working on is a MOS short film for an AFI cinematographer. It's going to be very short, only a few minutes long, but it will be about a woman in Edo period Japan who commits jigai (the female version of seppuku). Very interesting premise, and of course I'm thrilled to have the chance to do more kimono!

Aside from these I've just been chugging along with final projects for my classes. In our design class this quarter we are all designing Sondheim musicals, and I've been working on Follies. Here's a sneak peek at one of the ghost showgirls!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Things have started up on Copenhagen, and it has been going really well so far! Hoping to get my designs approved this week so I can get started putting it all together.. For now, here's a sneak peek! I tried a new rendering technique on this show, using photoshop to collage the costume design onto a photo of the actual actor. Fairly pleased with the result!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Silver Gardens!

Sorry for the long gap between posts! Things have been busy around here!

My third (and final!) year of my MFA has started up, and in addition to classes I've been finishing up two projects that I began over the summer.

The first is On Emotion, Son of Semele Ensemble's latest production, which is written by Mick Gordon and Paul Broks. It's the U.S. premiere of the play, and it revolves around Stephen, a cognitive behavioralist, his melancholy patient Anna, his daughter Lucy, and his autistic son Mark. It opened this last weekend and runs through November 15th. Information and tickets available on their website!

The second project is Silver Gardens, an MFA thesis project directed by New York Film Academy student Mehdi Khani. It has been a really fun and challenging project, giving me the opportunity to do a really wide variety of costumes from contemporary clothing to battle scenes with masked warriors, to a formal masquerade ball! Here are some photos from set to give you a taste!

Hope you enjoyed the photos! Next up for me I'm starting work on the first of my two design assignments at UCLA this year: Copenhagen for MFA director Alex Levy. It's a Tony award winning play about a controversial meeting during WWII between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in which they discussed the ethics of science in war. Fascinating play! Looking forward to getting started!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Long time no update!

It really has been quite a while since I posted! So here's an update on what I've been up to. Since Deicide closed, I have been working on a few projects, taking time to travel, and enjoying my last summer break ever. (Sad!)

In July, I spent a week in San Francisco with my boyfriend, seeing the sights and eating a lot of delicious meals. Immediately after I got back I started working on pickup shots for Honest Cheat, the feature film. Very excited to finally see that one when it's finally completed. From there I spent a long weekend with the parents in Seattle.

August started out with a little break between projects, and now I'm working full swing on several things. I've started the design process on On Emotion, Son of Semele Ensemble's fall production, written by Mick Gordon. It is a four person show that analyzes the role of emotion in guiding our lives. I also just completed gathering costumes for director Moe Koaik's latest short film, Ramiro's Crossing, which is a comedy about a Mexican farmer who crosses the border into the U.S. to look for work. This week I've been starting up on another student film called Silver Gardens, directed by Mehdi Khani, which is a really beautiful story about a violinist, including a really fantastic masquerade ball which takes place within his inner self. In the midst of all of this, I have also been working for a few weeks as a stitcher with the Young Frankenstein national tour, helping them alter and mend costumes between their Los Angeles and Costa Mesa stops.

In September, I'll be spending a week and a half in New York with my family, and am looking forward to seeing some good theater and eating great meals! After I return, school starts up again and I finish shooting on Silver Gardens.

All in all, summer has been treating me well, and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead!

Monday, June 21, 2010

LA Weekly shoutout!

I got a shoutout in LA Weekly's review of Deicide: A Sorta Muscial! Super exciting..

DEICIDE: A SORTA MUSICAL If you've ever yearned for a feel-good musical about Holy Wars and the end of civilization, this is it. Sorta. Writers Michael Ciriaco (book) and Brandon Baruch (book, music and lyrics) have a shamelessly good time bashing the big business of God and humanity's desperate need for deities, in whatever shape or form, as does the appealing cast of their goofball, scrappily ambitious -- albeit overlong -- musical romp. Like any good religious tale, it's filled with sex, violence and cool costumes (Laura Wong). Baruch directs with attention to cardboard-cutout detail (Gabriel Flores' design), and standout performances keep us laughing, even as the premise is stretched thinner and sillier. Murky Productions at the Paul G. Gleason Theatre, 6520 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. Tues.-Wed., June 22-23, 9 p.m.; Fri., June 25, 8:30 p.m.; Sat., June 26, 5 p.m. (866) 811-4111. (Jennie Webb/courtesy of Back Stage)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Deicide: A Sorta Musical opens tomorrow!

It is a part of the first ever Hollywood Fringe Festival, and thus only runs for six performances over the next two weeks, so if you'd like to come buy your ticket ahead of time! Go to www.deicidemusical.com for more info.

Here are some photos from dress rehearsal to intrigue you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

End of the school year!

Just finished my last final of the year! The year 2 of my MFA is over.. it went so fast!

Things are still going at breakneck pace, as work on Deicide: A Sorta Musical started going in full swing this week. We open in a week and a half, so this has really been an exercise in having to work quickly! It's a really funny show though, and there have been a lot of fun and unique costume challenges in it. Come on out and see the show if you're in the area! It's a part of the first ever Hollywood Fringe Festival, and runs the last two weekends in June.

I haven't updated in a while, so here's something from one of my projects in design class this quarter! Marcelle from Hotel Paradiso, in the infamous mauve dress..

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big portfolio update!

I finally went through and updated my portfolio section tonight! I've added a bunch of new projects from the last year, and I split it up into theater and film. Pretty exciting stuff! Go check it out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Elektra photos

Elektra had its last performance on Saturday night, concluding a completely sold out run! Too bad it couldn't have had more performances, but c'est la vie. The good news is that the photographer has released some of the photos, so I can share a few of those with you today!

Also, I'm hoping to do a big site update sometime in the next month with a bunch of new images added to the portfolio section, so keep an eye out for that!

On to the photos! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Elektra in the Daily Bruin!

Elektra, the production I've been working on at UCLA opens tonight! I can't wait to get my copy of the photos taken last night at final dress.. Meanwhile, we got a nice writeup in the Daily Bruin! Check it out!


Tonight, the UCLA Department of Theater will be putting a modern edge on classical Greek drama.

Euripides’ tragedy “Elektra,” directed by Master of Fine Arts Directing Candidate Monica Payne and based on the translation by Kenneth McLeish, will run until this Saturday at the Little Theater in Macgowan Hall.

For those unfamiliar with Greek mythology, the play takes place many years after the assassination of King Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra.

The UCLA Department of Theater will present “Elektra,” directed by graduate student Monica Payne, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. at Macgowan Hall.

Their daughter Elektra and their son Orestes are cast into exile; Elektra is forced to marry a farmer and Orestes is banished from the kingdom. This version of the story focuses on Elektra, her intense grief for her father, and the extremes she goes to for revenge.

“Its definitely not the happiest of plays,” said second-year theater student Jill Renner. “The circumstances of the show are very extreme, and you might think that they are so much so that you can’t relate to it, but I think there are a lot of things the audience can sympathize with, like the loss of a loved one.”

Audiences should also relate to Payne’s interpretation of the play, which re-imagines the visual and musical elements while remaining loyal to the script.

For example, the play takes design inspiration from the ’30s, giving it an atmosphere akin to that of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Initially, Payne said, she thought of the era for its music.

“I was really connected to the idea of using appellation style music, and immediately heard fiddle and mandolin, those kinds of sounds,” Payne said. “But also, I thought of those old black and white photographs of the Depression and people living in little, pasted-together tin shacks, it all feels very much in the American consciousness ... all the discussion of the economy now and connecting that to the Great Depression made it feel relevant to me too, as a way of modernizing it without bringing it all the way to 2010.”

“Elektra” uses several music pieces to support a chorus, a common feature of classical Greek theater. In the show, the chorus is comprised of a group of 12 women who provide an objective perspective on the tragedy as Elektra’s neighboring farm wives.

Along with observing the play’s events, the chorus also performs several songs and dance numbers, all set to Depression-era music. Renner, the chorus leader, said she felt that the music was very appropriate for the show’s content.

“Because (Elektra) is married to a farmer in the country, the folk music sets a really nice tone for the show,” Renner said, “We have that sense of mourning and loss and there’s something about even happy folk songs or songs from the Depression that has a kind of bittersweet, sad quality to it.”

To Payne, the all-female choir contributed to her attachment to the play, as well as the many strong female characters. Out of the 26 cast members, 18 are women, and Payne said she hoped viewers could appreciate the feminine themes in a modern context.

“In the original, Elektra is supposed to be this sort of marginal figure,” Payne said. “I responded to her incredible strength. Even though it’s misguided in a lot of ways, it’s still a portrayal of somebody who wants something and goes after it.”

Graduate student Kaitlyn E. Pietras, scenic designer for the show, said that the ’30s time period also seemed to emphasize the play’s emotional themes.

“My set really wanted to emphasize the mental state Elektra’s in by having a world inspired by the ’30s but not specifically set in the ’30s, creating a distressed psychological, abstract sort of space,” Pietras said.

Pietras said that the play still feels relevant, all these millenia later.

“I feel that so many of the themes are universal,” Pietras said. “These sort of powerful emotions still happen today, whether or not you go to the extreme of wanting to kill someone, people hurt each other and that’s just a part of life.”

Only a little over an hour, the play is short, furious and intense.

“There is no fourth wall, the actors are directly looking out and speaking to the audience, so how the audience responds is a huge part of the picture,” said Payne. “I’m interested in how much deeper it can get, physically and emotionally, once the audience comes in and plays their part.”


Tonight, 7 p.m. Macgowan Hall, $7-$17

Monday, April 5, 2010


For the last few months, I've been working as the costume designer for UCLA's spring production of Elektra by Euripides, which opens next week. I'm really proud of this show, and it has been an amazing experience all around! The story is timeless, the acting is fantastic, and obviously the design elements are amazing. ;)

Here's the schpiel from the press release:

A sister and brother plot to murder their mother to avenge the death of their father. Directed by Monica Payne, Euripides’s Elektra is imagined in a world influenced by the Great Depression with live music, a chorus of twelve women, and a serious mother-daughter showdown. Elektra is a timeless parable of grief, revenge, and madness.

April 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th at 8:00 PM
April 17th th at 2:00 PM

UCLA's Little Theater, Macgowan Hall

$17 general admission, $15 seniors/faculty/staff/alumni
$7 students, group rates available

For tickets: 310-825-2101 or UCLA Central Ticket Office
Parking available at Structure 3 ($10)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Medea: A Noh Cycle

It's been a while since I last updated, so I thought I'd share some renderings I had to do for my "Theater of Japan" class final. I chose to design some costumes for one of the plays we read in class which was a Noh version of Medea, the Greek tragedy. It was an interesting challenge to synthesize elements of Greek and Japanese costume, but it was definitely a fun exercise! Here are two of the renderings, of Medea and Crusea.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slaughter City preview

Slaughter City opened this weekend and I'm pretty excited about it! It's completely different from anything I've designed before, and it was fun to learn more about ageing and distressing and bloodying up things! All of the design elements in this show turned out fantastic, and the actors are amazing as well. Definitely check it out if you get a chance, the info is in the post before this! It runs from February 19th to March 21st!

Here are some photos from the show to encourage you to go see it! :)

Come see Slaughter City!

SLAUGHTER CITY by Naomi Wallace

February 19 - March 21
at Son of Semele Theater: 3301 Beverly Blvd

Fridays @ 8 PM
Saturdays @ 8 PM
Sundays @ 7 PM

Tickets: $20

Set in a rural meat factory where management is trying to break the union, Slaughter City is a political fairytale, and a love story about race, gender, class, and the struggle to be human in a mechanized, profit driven culture.

**This play contains brief nudity, adult themes and the occasional smoking of cigarettes.**

Directed by Barbara Kallir

Stage Managed by Flor San Roman
Set design by Sarah Krainin
Sound design by Sloe Slawinski
Costumes by Laura Wong
Lighting by Barbara Kallir and Jonathan Williams
Original music by Andrew Ingkavet
Props by Noelle Darling
Carcasses designed by Janne Larsen

The cast (in alphabetical order)

Sarah Boughton, Elizabeth Clemmons, Chris Emerson, Brent Jennings, Noelle Messier, Christina Ogunade, Bart Petty, Alex Wells.

For tickets or more information, visit our website: http://www.sonofsemele.org

Monday, February 8, 2010

Busy busy busy,,

Not gonna lie folks, things have been pretty busy here on the home front! Slaughter City goes up in a little over a week, and Elektra is making good progress. Looking forward to having one show done so that I can catch up on that mound of homework that has crept up on me over the last few weeks! Both shows are shaping up to be pretty fantastic though, and I'm excited to see the final products! Here's one of my final renderings for Elektra of Klytemnestra, the queen! She's gonna be pretty fabulous.

Hope life is treating everyone well! I'm off to sew more snaps on bloody slaughterhouse uniforms!

Friday, January 22, 2010


The new school year has started up and I've been running around like crazy! Between classes, work study, and designing two shows at once I'm definitely keeping myself busy this quarter. Slaughter City is well under way with a month until opening, and my designs for Elektra are to be signed off and given the go ahead to begin next week.

Here's a sneak peek at Elektra. Our version is set in the 1930s dust bowl, and we're going to have the opportunity to do a lot of really fantastic distressing on this project!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday break and that the new year is getting off to a good start! As for me, I had a great time in Seattle spending time with the family and seeing old friends. Also managed to squeeze some work in, finishing my renderings for Slaughter City. I was trying out a sketchier style, using black pen instead of pencil. Definitely a good exercise, drawing in a medium I can't erase!

Slaughter city is starting this week, and goes up on February 19th! I'm also getting a head start on planning for Elektra, which I am designing for UCLA. My designs are due February 1st, and the production goes up April 14th. Busy times around here, but luckily they're all things I'm excited to do!