Photo Credit: The Longest Drop, Photo courtesy of Kornel Wolak and Clelia Scala, 2020

Ontario Culture Days is working with concert clarinetist Kornel Wolak and professional puppet designer Clelia Scala on a shadow puppet workshop and performance.

This video is part of Ontario Culture Days’ Creative Residency program.

Have you heard the one about the egg and the CN Tower? No? In 1979, a 17-year-old from Toronto set a world record by dropping an egg from 1120 feet inside the tower into a specially designed net.

The story inspired professional puppet designer Clelia Scala, and clarinet soloist Kornel Wolak to wonder what else has been dropped from the CN Tower? Sit tight and let the shadows and music tell our story about an entirely different (and completely made up) egg drop.

Feeling inspired? For the second part of this program, Scala and Wolak will lead you through a workshop on how to create your own shadow puppet performance. Learn about what you need, how to make moveable puppets, and the best way to create your story.

The Longest Drop – Performance

Shadow Puppet Workshop

About the artists

Clelia Scala is an artist whose work includes mask and puppet design, installations, collage, and illustration. She makes masks and puppets for theatres, film, visual artists, performance artists, and schools. She teaches mask-making and puppet-making in classroom and workshop settings.  Recent theatre credits include mask design for The School for Scandal (Odyssey Theatre, 2021), mask design for Bonds of Interest (Odyssey Theatre, 2019); mask design for The Medium (University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2019); puppet design for The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito (Carousel Players, 2019); mask and puppet design for Birds (Queen’s University, 2018); puppeteering for 1991 (Guilty by Association, 2018); puppet and mask design for Shotgun Wedding: Cirque Cabaret (Zacada Circus, 2017);  mask and puppet design for Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures (Carousel Players, 2017); and mask construction for Counting Sheep (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Recklinghausen, Germany, 2017, and Toronto and Edinburgh, 2016). Clelia’s short stop-motion animation film, The Boat of Bones, was part of the Xperimental Puppetry Theatre Festival at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta in 2018.

Clelia was the maker-in-residence at the Burlington Public Library for the summer of 2018, during which she created an installation from books and other materials, The Forest, which will be on display at the In the Soil Arts Festival in 2021. Eating Animals, an installation piece that Clelia co-created with Alexa Fraser, was on display at the Woodstock Art Gallery in the spring of 2019.

Clelia is currently working on a series of collages for Steve McCaffery’s latest book, Alice Through the Working Class, a sequel to McCaffery’s book Alice in Plunderland (BookThug), which she also illustrated. Clelia is the recipient of the 2019 Established Artist Award for the City of St Catharines. She is an instructor of theatre, mask and puppet design in the Dan School of Drama & Music at Queen’s University and will be teaching mask and puppet design at the Haliburton School of Art and Design in the summer of 2021.  Clelia is a founding member of Puppet-a-Go-Go and a co-creator, with Alexa Fraser, of  The Enormous Elsewhere.


Kornel Wolak is a concert clarinetist, clinician, researcher, author and producer.

Highly acclaimed for his musical imagination and astonishing versatility. “Control, and a smooth, elegant expressivity… are what make Wolak shine.” (John Terauds, the Toronto Star) Regularly appears in recitals as soloist with American and European orchestras as well as chamber musician. A double “Fryderyk” nominee, Poland’s highest recording award, he is a regular fixture on the CBC, Classical 96.3 FM, Public Radio International, and in the US, NPR. Regularly gives master classes and lectures in Europe, Asia and both Americas. His newly published books on clarinet pedagogy have become a bestseller world-wide among the woodwind community.  He is also a  member of highly acclaimed Canadian Clarinet-Accordion Duo “Bridge&Wolak” with whom he tours, records and produces various projects extensively.

In recent years, he is actively involved in research on the role of oral articulators in clarinet playing at Speech-Language Pathology Department at University of Toronto. Results of the studies have been presented at Clarinet Fest 2017 as well as at the 7th International Conference on Speech Motor Control, Groningen, the Netherlands as well as at the Music and Health Research Collaboratory at the University of Toronto.

He is the founder of Music Mind Inc., an initiative that promotes music education through research and understanding.

Since 2018 Dr. Wolak is an Assistant Professor of Clarinet at Queen’s University (Canada)

Feature Image: The Longest Drop, Photo courtesy of Kornel Wolak and Clelia Scala, 2020