Jackie McClelland is our props master and one of our set designers for “Dial M For Murder”!
Bio: Jackie is a set and prop designer specializing in period work for both film and stage. Selected credits include: Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy, Romeo and Juliet, Bent (Hart House Theatre); Twelfth Night (Canopy Theatre Company); Into the Woods (Bravo Academy); Little Women (First Act Productions); A Ladylike Murder, City of Angels (Victoria College Drama Society); Sundance (Two Wolves Theatre, Toronto Fringe Festival).
1. How did you get started with set design?
I started out studying film, actually, but got involved in theatre in my spare time. I played a few small roles in school shows – chorus parts, mostly – before making the transition backstage.
2. What is your favourite part of the creative process?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing — I love brainstorming and doing tons of research right off the bat, but it’s just as satisfying to put my hands to use building, painting, and decorating.
3. What are some challenges you face working as a set designer?
There are almost always limitations in terms of budget and time. In a perfect world, I would have limitless money and hours to spend crafting a perfect set and filling out all the little details that draw in the audience. Getting around these hurdles, though, is part of what makes this job great. I love when someone is impressed by something that I “MacGyver’d” for practically no money!
4. Any advice for other people looking to pursue set design?
I honed my skills building props before moving up to set design and dressing. It gives you the opportunity to work directly with the set designer and learn a lot from their experience – I definitely recommend it.
5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M For Murder”?
I’m a big Hitchcock fan, but I’ve always felt that Dial M for Murder is a story that belongs more on stage than it does on screen. There’s the potential to create a lot of tension through staging and I hope to enhance that as much as possible with the set. I also love working on period pieces and have a special soft spot for Mid-Century Modern design. It’s gonna be great!