Noise Within in Glendale and South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa
Mesa. Her ability to create imagery on stage through set design and
wardrobe has given her a creative ability unique to many artists
working in theater.
"That, as far as I'm concerned, is the ideal way to do it," she
said. "Then you really have a very clear understanding of where the
world is, who the people are and then how to match them."
The world is the set, and the people are the characters who will
live in that world on stage. Regardless of whether her project is set
or costume design, the idea behind it is creating an image on stage,
Her creative process came to fruition clearly in "A Midsummer
Night's Dream," A Noise Within and Los Angeles Philharmonic's joint
production of Felix Mendelssohn's score inspired by William
Shakespeare's play, performed last season at the Hollywood Bowl.
"I was designing costumes for a musical piece, not just a play,"
she said. "As I listened to the music, I knew it was a romantic
In general, Calin approaches every theatrical production by
familiarizing herself with the play. So, she also read Shakespeare's
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" in addition to listening to the music
inspired by it. In order to create a visual scene with costumes true
to the writer's and composer's work, it was necessary to consult both
sources, she said.
"Between mine and [Mendelssohn's] take, we might have had a
different understanding," she said, describing the experience as a
unique collaboration triangle between herself, Mendelssohn and
But her collaboration and research must also include directors and
actors, Calin said.
"We were creating something that Shakespeare initially wrote," she
said. "We listened to the music because it was an important process
of the design. I tried together with the directors to veer the
costumes toward that -- incorporate the music into our thoughts."
The result was a spectacular, magical world on stage, filled with
fairies, romance and music to debut the Hollywood Bowl's new shell
"She is very in tune with what we do and the aesthetic," said
Julia Rodriguez Elliott, co-founder and artistic director at A Noise
Calin will approach her next projects the same way, considering
various artistic elements, like actors who contribute to the imagery
and world on stage.
"The actors are the psychological profile makers, and I'm the one
who translates that into imagery," she said.
Calin is designing the backdrop for "Julius Caesar" at A Noise
Within in March. As a venue for classical drama, it was A Noise
Within that beckoned her back to theater nine years ago.
"I'm a strong believer in classical theater," she said. "It
somehow felt good to be home culturally."