Faculty Profile: Karyn McCallum

What do you do?

I’m a designer for live performance, also known as a scenographer.

What do you think is the best part of being a designer for live performance?

I get to share my visualization of a dramatic text or music.

What areas of creativity do you specialize in?  

My areas of creativity are set, costume and projection design.

My research spans all of these areas but I guess I could say that projection design draws the most attention; as in any technology-based art form the medium is always developing.

3. Drums and organs

Drums and Organs: set, projection, and costume design by Karyn McCallum

Which performance or project of yours would you describe as your favourite?

My favourite is always the next one.

If I have to choose one from the past I’d say Drums and Organs here at the Fountain School. It was a new work commissioned to celebrate Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary. Drums and Organs was a skillfully written contemporary play by a recent graduate of our acting program, Gillian Clarke. I had the opportunity to design in all three of my disciplines.

What projects have you worked on recently?

In the fall I was working on the costumes for the Fountain School production of Women of Troy, directed by Samantha Wilson and performed by the 4th-year Acting Ensemble in November. At the same time I was working on the projection design for a collaboration with Jacob Caines, the FSPA Wind Ensemble, and DJ Indigo Rain Poirier at St. Andrews Church performed in the same week as Women of Troy.

4. Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses, set design by Karyn McCallum

What do you like best about living in the City of Halifax?  

I love the city of Halifax because it is small enough to have a close arts community as well as being big enough to have a very sophisticated culture created by people who grew up here as well as many who have migrated from far and wide.

What advice can you offer any students interested in the performing arts?

My advice to students going into the arts is to follow their passion, as well as to travel for personal growth.

I also suggest that they see as much work in the area in which they are passionate, by as many different artists as possible.

1. Ridiculed Romantics

Ridiculed Romantics, costume design by Karyn McCallum

Where can we find/read/see/hear some of your work?

You can see my work by coming to see our FSPA productions or visit my website at www.karyn-mccallum-design.com.

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