Maddie Vassalo

Maddie Vassalo is a 20 year old multidisciplinary visual and performing artist pursuing a BFA in Interarts Performance with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Michigan.While Maddie has many creative interests she is most interested in film and animation, XR, and fashion design.

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On Small Step for Man

A short animation that explores the relationship between humanities great technological achievements and war through the lens of the moon landing and the nuclear arms race. Two events caused by the Cold War. This animation uses several styles of animation as well as historical pictures and footage from the space and nuclear arms races.Made with a combination of Photoshop, Aftereffects, and Premiere Pro. Footage and images from NASA and the Atomic Archive

A Visit From an Inter-dimensional Being

A rotoscoped animation made using Photoshop. This piece is inspired by the rotoscoped film A Scanner Darkly

It's Only Me and You

This animation was made using Adobe Animate. It was mostly an experiment of what could be done with the software. Each section is explores different methods of animating, from frame by frame to key framing.

The World Isn't Ending It Only Feels That Way

This piece was an experiment of the ways that hand drawn animation could be combined with live action video to create a new world. While not entirely successful in it's execution it serves as a powerful proof of concept and an excellent learning experience of the ways to combine animation and live action video.


The Man Behind The Shower Curtain

A first try on green screen work and experimental video made for a 4D media studio class.
Shot on iPhone SE edited with Premiere Pro

A Love Letter to Washington DC

A love letter to my hometown of Washington DC. Made as I was leaving for college in order to process my feelings about moving away for the first time in my life.


Nietzsche's Aphorisms Audio Walk


Wake Up Woman Album and Marketing

Wake Up Woman Album Cover

Wake Up Woman Tour Posters

Posters for Performances Leading up to Official Album Release and the Album Release Party

Poster Design


Joker And Queen Deck Cards

Portal to Another Dimension





Inspired by various popular conspiracy theories such as skin suits, militarization, Area 51, lizard people and others The six piece, three look Conspiracy Collection aims to explore the impact of conspiracy on American culture and serves as a reaction to our increasingly paranoid political culture in both national and local governmentsThis collection utilizes a variety of experimental processes including laser engraving on denim, leather wet molding, and 3D printing.All materials used were thrifted or reused in some way.


Originally designed and constructed for a garment design class, these pieces represent quick design mockups responding to specific prompts. Each piece was developed over the course of two weeks and are constructed primarily from muslin.

Impractical Baseball Jersey - Muslin and Upcycled Men's Worksheet

Prompt: Gender neutral fashion.
This piece is an exploration of the reality of women's athletic wear. Often times women's athletic wear is design to make the wearer look good at the expense of performance while mens athletic wear is design to enhance performance. I drew inspiration from the differences between men's and women's baseball uniforms and ended up making a jersey that was too large to actually play baseball.

The dropped and padded shoulders serve to make the wearer look more buff than they actually are. The large size covers the wearer and hides what their body looks like underneath. This both plays on the idea of enhancing the male form while simultaneously ensuring the garment looks good on every body. The size and dropped shoulder, while making the wearer look good is also the very thing that limits movement and thus limits the wearer's ability to play.

Simone Rocha Inspired Evening Gown

Prompt: Design a piece inspired by the designer of your choosing
For this design I chose to research and emulate Simone Rocha. This assignment was mainly focused on the idea of silhouette so I paid careful attention to the overblown silhouettes often used by Rocha. I noticed she mainly used A-line and Bell shaped garments and so I wanted to construct something that would look like one think from the back and another from the front.

In designing I was inspired by the idea of angel wings which I constructed out of pleated. While Rocha often uses ruffles to create the volume her designs are known for I wanted to use pleats instead to ensure the garment could exist in dialogue with her work instead of being a recreation of it.

Historical Dress

Prompt: Using inspirations from historical dress, focus on one element of design to provide emphasis.
In doing the research for this assignment I noticed how many historical dresses pull in and emphasize the waist using gathering. I wanted to pay on this idea of radiation and radial symmetry by patterning the bust in such a way that all lines lead back to the middle of the waist.

The bodice was draped and eventually ended up being constructed from fourteen panels, all meeting in the middle. The drop waist serves to allow the radial lines on the bust to have their full effect while the simple gathered skirt keeps the viewer coming back to the space where all the lines meet.

Performance Pieces

Body Extension, The Alien Royalty, Muslin, Satin, and Cardboard

This headpiece bustier combination was a body extension made for a performance class. This piece explores the relationship between upper classes and impractical pieces in historical and modern dress. The headpiece is inspired by the driving helmets that were worn when cars were first introduced. These helmets were necessary since driving was uncomfortable and dirt and bugs would often hit your face.

The white, stripped back nature of the corset and the slip skirt are undergarments meant to strip back and reveal that what is underneath the fancy outer layers in order to challenge the fact that often fashion is about showing everyone how wealthy you are than the artform many designers wish it could be.



Directed by Marta Frank and Maddie Vassalo
Director, Writer and Costume Designer.
Written by Marta Frank, Maddie Vassalo, and Rory Hunt with the cast

In If The World Ends Tomorrow It’s All Your Fault we explore how the media we consume comes out in us, how it not only ends up influencing how we think or feel but also alters our perception while fundamentally changing the world we live in both physically and socially. The show follows two twenty-something roommates stuck in their room (that limited but also limitless pandemic room). The script was directly taken or adapted from newspaper and magazine clippings of the past and the room itself was made of the script. Monologues guide how this media and interpersonal connection guides our perception, making the shift from a person choosing the stories they consume to now the stories choosing the person.

Full Video Coming Soon!

Circus On! Sonny's Blues

Directed by Stephen Rush
Stage Manager
A Production of John Cage's Circus On!

A production of John Cage's Circus On! Using the book Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin as source material. This piece uses John Cage's method of turning any piece of text into a radio play and adapts that into a one hour stage show exploring the life of a black man living in Harlem.

Unexpected Mischievousness at the Queen's Palace

Director: Rose Alybat
Costume and Props Designer/Production Assistant
Written by Rose Alybat

Reshuffling the Deck is an integrated Film, Television, and Media honors thesis aimed at challenging the gender norms in early cinema through a creative remake of Georges Méliès’ 1905 film LES CARTES VIVANTES.
The project involves a 3D virtual model of Méliès' studio that was built based on surviving historical photographs, drawings, and published accounts.
There are be multiple versions of the remake. A 2D, 3D , praxinoscope, and a flip book version, all which was shot within the virtual model of Méliès' studio at the Video Studio at the Duderstadt Center with an all-female cast. The project pays tribute to the many under-researched women who performed on screen and worked behind the scenes during the silent era.

Murakami by the Sea

Directed by Tzveta Kassabova
Stage Manager
Devised by Tzveta Kassabova with the cast and crew.

Murakami by the Sea is a full evening length devised work inspired by novels and short stories by Haruki Murakami. Placed within a constantly evolving environment of cardboard and broken tires the production bridges the gap between the genres of visual art, music, theater, and movement. The created world and soundscape of tangible memories, innocent gestures, poignant observations, and emotional interactions washes over the audience and takes them all the way to the serenity of the bottom of the ocean. What real geography is surrounding us and what landscape do we imagine in our stories? How much do we know and care about the world we live in? How do we connect to each other? How does our relationship to other human beings, animals, objects, and the environment shape? What does solitude mean and how can we build a community? How can we remember what is precious to us and how can forgetting make heal our wounds?


Written and Directed by Nicole Denise White
Costume Designer and Creative Collaborator

Disrupted is a one woman experimental film about the loss of Nicole Denise White’s father to suicide. Through a multimedia collage of 10 chapters, Disrupted navigates Niki’s coming-of-age while remembering and retelling her father’s story. This series of vignettes explore the multifaceted perspectives on mental health, suicide, love and loss. Fighting against the romanticization and villainization of suicide, the piece aims to connect to the universal human experience and ideology that life is worth living.


Performer and Deviser for Stop.

Broken Reflections
University of Michigan Fall 2021 Interarts Showcase
Performed and recorded at the Duderstadt Media Center Video Studio
Broken Reflections was an end of semester final showcase written, acted, and produced by Interarts Performance candidates at the University of Michigan