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Dream Carver Backdrop

Dream Carver Backdrop

When Swazzle’s bilingual, musical puppet production Dream Carver hits the stage on April 14th, it will feature a hand-painted 30×20-foot backdrop. Designed by Patrick Johnson based on illustrations from the Dream Carver picture book, the backdrop is being painted by Mia Campagna, the lead scenic artist at the Pasadena Playhouse since 2004. While at the Playhouse, Mia has lent her artistic talents to more than 35 theatrical productions.

Mia Campagna sprays the backdrop black

The backdrop was first painted black, a layer that is slightly visible under the painted sky and hills. This mutes the colors and gives the backdrop a look that is similar to the illustrations in the book. In some places the black layer will be left exposed to outline various background elements.

Campagna used an overhead projector to enlarge the background design on a muslin drop. Each element was traced with chalk and carefully labeled. Then, using the book as her guide, she mixed a collection of custom colors for the sky, hills, trees, lake and houses. The finished backdrop will transport the audience to the pastoral Oaxacan countryside.


Mia Campagna paints the Oaxacan countryside



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