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Master Class On Demand: Decolonizing American Theatre Design
How can we change the way we approach and think about theatre design on our stages? For this master class, Clint Ramos will lead a conversation with Dede Ayite, Riccardo Hernández, and Mimi Lien discussing design as a whole, while looking through the lens of how we can begin to decentralize the white narrative in theater design and further decolonize the American Theatre. Our master class artists will look at culture, identity, and the impact of de-centering the dominant culture in selected designs and practices while utilizing slides and images from different works, shows, and projects to provide examples and context to attendees.
Dede is a costume designer whose Broadway credits include A Soldier’s Play, Slave Play, American Son, and Children of a Lesser God. Select Off-Broadway credits include Secret Life of Bees, FireFlies, Marie and Rosetta (Atlantic); Fires in The Mirror, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature); BLKS, School Girls… (MCC); Bella: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons); Toni Stone (Roundabout). Regionally, Ayite’s work has appeared at Steppenwolf, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena stage and more. She has worked in television with Netflix, Comedy Central, and FOX Shortcoms. She has received an Obie, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Theatre Bay Area and a Jeff award, along with four Drama Desk Nominations.
Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Riccardo has designed scenery for more than 250 productions around the world. He has worked on and off-Broadway and at every major nonprofit theater in the country. His most recent Broadway design was for Jagged Little Pill. Riccardo has also designed at English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, NYCO, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera. His International credits include productions for the Abbey Theatre, Avignon Festival, Moscow Art Theater, National Theater of Great Britain, Royal Court, Oslo National Theater, La Colline Théâtre Nationale and Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris, Teatro Real de Madrid, Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Associate Professor Adjunct at Yale School of Drama.
Mimi is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first stage designer ever to achieve this distinction. Mimi is a co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Selected projects include: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, Tony Award); Fairview, An Octoroon (Soho Rep.); Die Zauberflote (Staatsoper Berlin), True West (Roundabout). She is a recipient of a Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Henry Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Bessie Award, and an Obie Award for sustained excellence
About the American Theatre Wing’s Master Class Series
Moderated by President & CEO Heather Hitchens, our Master Class Series provides attendees with exclusive access to hear and learn from the titans of our theatre industry. Guests will range from top-tier Actors, Directors, Playwrights, Designers, and more! Attendees will have the opportunity to hear the many and vast ways to finding your way in the business with each featured artist sharing their unique journey and path to success as a creative.