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CREATING SVEN

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

For the past 3 years, I have dabbled in set design and prop creation for the annual production of the Children’s Theater of Oahu, where my daughter has been a participant. We went to the ball with Cinderella, traveled along the Nile with Cleopatra, and faced the magic mirror with Snow White. Then, last spring I assisted the Kipapa Elementary Drama Club with their performance of Disney’s Lion King Jr. Using some cardboard and paper mache’, we visually captured the essence of “The Circle of Life” with our creation of the animal masks and props. With each of these shows, I have loved the challenges and opportunities to create magic on the stage. Thus, this fall I was thrilled to accept the task of making a costume for Sven in PACK’s production of Disney’s “Frozen” which opens November 22nd at Kapolei High School.


Not sure where to start, I studied the Sven costume used on stage at the Hyperion in Disneyland and began to scribble down ideas in my sketchbook trying to imagine how to make the costume functional while remaining strong enough to withstand being worn and bumped about on stage. I made life-size templates of the legs, body, and head using poster board to test the scale and proportion. Then, the forming process began with cardboard, 1/4 inch plywood, 1 by 2 inch pine boards, newsprint, masking tape, wire mesh, and paper mache’. For me, the creative process requires both a planned and unplanned evolution. I have to have an idea of what I am trying to do, but I don't have to know exactly how every part will come to be. Often, I experiment with ideas and through trial and error, the creation emerges. Watch the video below to see Sven's progression:


In my elementary art room, I have these words stretched across one side of my classroom, "We are artists with the power to look, imagine, and create." With every project I take on, like Sven, I follow this approach. I have discovered that the power of creating is in the process and the joy is in the magic of seeing it come to life.

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