“You Can’t Take It With You” Mt. Hood Repertory Theatre /Gresham, Oregon

This large interior was made for a summer stock production directed by Tobias Andersen. We made the entrance to the basement, where they were supposed to be making Fourth of July fireworks, a trap door downstage of the apron. When they would test the fireworks, the trap would fly open and a plume of smoke would arise.

“Baby With The Bathwater”

Walnut Hill School For The Arts /  Natick, Massachusetts

This set was used in a high school production. The 8’ x 8’ painting upstage flew out to allow the furniture to be rolled into place for the many locations in the show. The squares surrounding the painting hid sliding doors that opened to reveal “laugh-in” style windows for the multi-psychiatrists scene.

“God’s Man In Texas”

Trustus Theatre /  Columbia, South Carolina

This foray into minimalism was designed for a small regional theater production.


Classic Greek Theatre / Portland, Oregon

This design for an outdoor production was done in collaboration with the director, Keith Scales. This 40’ wide set was built in small pieces in a one-car garage and assembled on-site. Two minutes after attaching the last screw, one of the giant trees behind the stage fell and crashed though the set and half way up the audience seating. Fortunately, no one was injured but if it had happened during a performance there would have been several deaths, some of whom would have been paying costumers!

“Not Now Darling”

Town Theatre / Columbia, South Carolina

This set was for a very silly sex farce that was done at a community theater in South Carolina.

Outside of the french doors was a balcony and the London skyline, complete with little lights in each window that is too difficult to make out in this particular photo.

“The Hostage”

Franconia College / Franconia, New Hampshire

I designed this as a student back in 1974, before I really knew how to make a proper looking banister or knew what a comfortable rise on a staircase was. It wasn’t a very good set but it was big so everyone was impressed.

“Lost in Yonkers”

HART Theatre / Hillsboro, Oregon

This picture was taken from the side aisle which makes the set appear to be flat-on towards the audience. It was in fact, set at a 20 degree angle. The wall paper is real, but the wide plank floor is just painted.

“Blithe Spirit”

HART Theatre / Hillsboro, Oregon

The rear wall (behind the maid) was made of stretched scrim material which allowed for ghost effects for the appearance of characters from “the other world.

“Hunter Gatherers”

Theatre Vertigo / Portland, Oregon

The upper photo is the work in progress with me once again woodgraining a floor. Below is the lighting for the pre-set.

By the end of the second act the place was covered in blood.

Stephen Kelsey designs and builds sets for local independent theater groups.

Here is a small sample of his work from over the years in the various places that he has lived.