Born in Columbus, Ohio and attended Cornell University where she majored in English, Tipton came to New York to study dance. Her interest in lighting began with a course in the subject at the American Dance Festival, Connecticut College. She has been awarded two Bessies and a Laurence Olivier Award for lighting dance; her work in that field includes pieces choreographed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jiri Kylian, Dana Reitz, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Dan Wagoner, among many others. Her work in the theatre has garnered a Joseph Jefferson Award, a Kudo, a Drama-Logue Award, two American Theatre Wing Awards, an Obie, two Drama Desk Awards, the first for The Cherry Orchard and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf; the second for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Waiting for Godot, and Long Day’s Journey into Night, and two Tonys for The Cherry Orchard and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Her work in opera includes Robert Wilson’s production of Parsifal at the Houston Grand Opera and Peter Sellar’s production of Tannhauser for the Chicago Light Opera. In the fall of 1991 she directed a production of The Tempest at the Guthrie. She has been an artistic associate with the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. In 1982, she received the Creative Arts Award in Dance from Brandeis University. She held a Guggenheim Fellowship for the 1986-87 season and received the 1989 Commonwealth Award in Dramatic Arts. In 1991, she received a Dance Magazine Award. She has been a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Theater Program Distinguished Artist Award, and a grant in the National Theatre Artist Residency Program funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Miss Tipton also teaches lighting at the Yale University School of Drama. Tipton’s lighting designs have been represented in American Ballet Theatre’s repertory since 1971.