Raphael Jacobs is an interdisciplinary artist

La Calisto    Theater Aachen (2018)

stage direction

Ludger Engels

costume design

Raphael Jacobs


stage design

Ric Schachtebeck


Christopher Bucknall

For the Aachen Theatre I designed a costume concept to visually tell the story of the nymph Calisto. Calisto, from the entourage of the goddess Diana, is deceived by the godfather Jupiter, seduced, turned into a bear by his jealous wife Juno, and finally placed in the sky as a star. 

In our scenic interpretation, the action opens up in a club room where the different houses compete against each other, emulate each other, fall unhappily in love and spin intrigues. Calisto loses herself in this maelstrom of disappointment, falls out of the structures of her house, no longer understands the world until it finally dissolves.

In my visual interpretation, I have placed special emphasis on the tragic fate of Calisto, who becomes more and more desperate as a result of being cast out of her house and can no longer find anything friendly, and is even punished for what has happened to her. The transformation into a bear is a further step to break Calisto, to depersonalise her, an ancient symbol, to reduce her solely to her existence as a sexual being, only to finally fall silent as a decorative star constellation. Her disintegration and mutilation, dismemberment happens in an overzealous world that cannot overcome it’s masked power structures.

image courtesy: Wil van Iersel