Influential Scenic Designers in the History of Technical Theater Design

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The specialization and individualized professions in the field of Technical Theatre are relatively new to the stage in comparison to the period of time in which the art of Theatre has grown. Aiding in the development of concentrated professions such as scenic design has been a plethora of talented, skillful, intelligent and highly driven individuals. Among these influential fountains of creativity have been John Lee Beatty, Eugene Lee, Boris Aronson, Ming Cho Lee, Jo Mielziner, Tony Walton, Robin Wager, John Napier, Santo Loquasto, Heidi Landesman, and Julie Taymor along with many more. John Lee Beatty claim’s that he has been designing sets since the age of seven when his parents took him to see Peter Pan. He grew up in Southern California in a small town where his father was dean of students at Pomona College and his mother had also worked as a teacher. He has designed for the revival of Chicago; the Pulitzer Prize winners Doubt, Proof and Rabbit Hole; The Color Purple; The Heiress; The Sisters Rosensweig; and the revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance. Beatty has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards and has won for Talley's Folly in 1980. Eugene Lee could be seen by many young starting set designers as old fashion. While his sets turn out highly technologically challenging he begins the design process with a simple piece of sketch paper. He does not fake anything as a designer if he wants something to look like a certain texture or material more times than not will he use the actual material instead of taking the route favored by most modern day designers and merely paint the texture on wood. Along with Lee’s three Tony Awards, he has been the set designer on the popular Saturday Night Live from its first episode in 1975... ... middle of paper ... ...her schooling in Ohio she began apprenticing with experimental theater companies in New York and taking anthropology classes at Columbia University. Along with scenic design, costume design, and prop and puppet design Taymor successfully directed a number of shows. In 1997 her direction of the Broadway hit the Lion King led to the first Tony for Directing presented to a female in the fifty years that the Tony awards had been in place. Each of these designs has had a great impact in the field of scenic design and on the future of technical theatre design. Due to their artistic talent, hard work, creativity, and drive to reach their dreams these scenic designers have paved the way for future designers and innovation in future productions. The theatre world would not have been the same without their substantial impact and the footprints of genius they leave behind.

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