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Top 10 Designer Contributions of 2012

Celebrating the year's most exquisite – and often surprising – stage designs

By Elizabeth Cobbe, Fri., Jan. 4, 2013

Diorama drama: Thomas Graves in <i>Now Now Oh Now</i>
Diorama drama: Thomas Graves in Now Now Oh Now

1) THE SEVEN DESIGNERS AND NINE ASSISTANTS FOR 'NOW NOW OH NOW' (Rude Mechanicals) The interactive set contained surprise after delightful surprise.

2) IA ENSTERÄ'S SET FOR 'THE TWELFTH LABOR' (Tutto Theatre Company) The roof of the family house seemed to disintegrate into the fly space.

3) ANN MARIE GORDON'S SET FOR 'WATER' (Vortex Repertory Company) The onstage waterfall introduced great potential for interaction with the dancers.

4) KATHRYN EADER'S LIGHTING FOR 'UNDER CONSTRUCTION' (Mary Moody Northen Theatre) The lighting tied together the work of a splendid design team.

5) DAVID UTLEY'S SET FOR 'THE PAVILION' (Penfold Theatre) Sometimes good, solid realism is just what you need.

6) K. ELIOT HAYNES' SOUND AND VIDEO FOR 'THE CRAPSTALL STREET BOYS' (Trouble Puppet Theater Company) One puppeteer carried a camera that projected onto a large screen, allowing for puppet close-ups.

7) GEORGE MARSOLEK'S SET FOR 'THE ATTIC SPACE' (Palindrome Theatre) The set showed literal layers, and Tara Cooper's puppets were also lovely in their detail.

8) HAYDEE ANTUNANO'S COSTUMES FOR 'PRIDE AND PREJUDICE' (Austin Shakespeare) I am a sucker for a good Empire waist dress.

9) PAM FLETCHER FRIDAY'S COSTUME FOR 'THE ALIEN BABY PLAY' (Tutto Theatre Company) By the end, the alien baby in utero glowed with colorful lights.

10) SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE'S COSTUMES FOR 'XANADU' (Zach Theatre) The centaur is what did it.

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