Designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera based in Brooklyn, NY, having arrived at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Civilians, and resident designer at BalletTech.
Her work includes Elephant Room (Rainpan 43), All Hands (Hoi Polloi), Body Awareness (Wilma Theater), Die Liebe der Danae (Bard Summerscape), Hansel und Gretel (Virginia Opera), Born Bad (Soho Rep), and a building-wide installation for the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in Spring 2011. Her work has been seen in New York at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Kitchen, Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, Soho Rep, 13P, Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, and around the country at Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., Wilma Theater, Longwharf Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Alliance Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Kansas City Rep, and Playmakers Rep, among others. Collaborators have included Blanka Zizka, Anne Kauffman, Davis McCallum, Eliot Feld, Kevin Newbury, Dan Rothenberg, Alec Duffy, Lear deBessonet, Lisa d’Amour, Les Waters, Tina Landau, Eric Ting, Steve Cosson, Rebecca Taichman, May Adrales, Lisa Rothe, Kip Fagan, Charles Moulton, Robert Battle, Nicolo Fonte, Brian Mertes, Carla Kihlstedt, and Caitriona McLaughlin. Mimi’s designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands and Russia, and she was a semifinalist in the Ring Award competition for opera design in Graz, Austria.
Her work has also been recognized by a Barrymore Award (Outrage), four Barrymore nominations, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award nomination (Queens Boulevard), Bay Area Critics Circle nomination (Strange Devices from the Distant West). She was a recipient of the 2007-2009 NEA/TCG Career Development Program, and is a 2012 MacDowell Colony fellow. Her design for Love Unpunished (Pig Iron) was exhibited in the 2011 Prague Quadrennial, and her sculptures were featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Mimi Lien received an 2012 OBIE for sustained excellence of set design. Her set designs are signature pieces, always capturing the world of a play in an unique interpretation and creating the space for imagination to take place.