Tony Straiges

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Tony Straiges (born 1942) is a scenic designer for the stage and ballet. He has designed the sets for 17 Broadway musicals, plays and specials. His sets "often have a sparse elegance or sense of fantasy about them." [1] Robert Brustein said of Straiges: "Today, he is considered one of the visual poets of the stage." [2] Straiges attended Yale University. [3]



His first Broadway production was Timbuktu! in 1978, [4] and recently he designed the sets for Enchanted April in 2003. He provided the scenic supervision for the 1985 concert version of Follies . [5] Off-Broadway productions include Chasing Manet at Primary Stages in 2009. [6] His first off-Broadway production was Glance of a Landscape in 1975, at Playwrights Horizons. He designed the sets for the stage musical Meet Me in St. Louis at the Irish Repertory Theatre in 2006. [7] He also designed the set for the 1991 Broadway play I Hate Hamlet .

Straiges designed the set for Sunday in the Park with George (1984), and won the 1984 Tony Award, Best Scenic Design, [8] and Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Set Design [9] for his work. Frank Rich wrote that the set was "fantastic", and "What Mr. Lapine, his designers and the special-effects wizard Bran Ferren have arranged is simply gorgeous." [10]

Straiges designed the set for Into the Woods (1987), for which he was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Scenic Design [11] and Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Set Design. [12] Frank Rich wrote of the set "The designer, Tony Straiges, transports us from a mock-proscenium set redolent of 19th-century picturebook illustration into a thick, asymmetrical, Sendakesque woods whose Rorschach patterns, eerily lighted by Richard Nelson, keep shifting to reveal hidden spirits and demons." [13]

He has designed for many regional theatres, including Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut (1974–77, 1978–79, and 1981–82). [14] A sample of productions for that theatre included The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahogonny (1974), Troilus And Cressida (1976), and Tales From The Vienna Woods (1978). [15] His work for Center Stage, Baltimore, Maryland included Lady Windermere's Fan in 2004 [16] and On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning in 1984. He designed for Arena Stage, Washington, DC in 1976-81, including The Winter's Tale in 1979 [17] and 1982–83, and in 1985 designed Women And Water. [14] [18] He designs for the Alley Theatre, Houston Texas. [19]

He also designs sets for ballet companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. [20]

A collection of 18 models of Straiges' set designs is in the Ohio State University Library. [21]

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  1. Wilmeth, Don B and Miller, Tice L. Tony Straiges entry, Cambridge Guide to American Theatre (2 ed.), University Press, 1996, ISBN   0-521-56444-1, p. 367
  2. Brustein, Robert.Chapter: Actors and Designers, Letters to a Young Actor: A Universal Guide to Performance, Basic Books, 2007, ISBN   0-465-00814-3, p. 160
  3. Brustein, Michael and Brustein, Robert. Polemics, Reimagining American Theatre, Macmillan, 2003, ISBN   0-8090-8058-3, p.232
  4. Bordman, Gerald Martin. "'Timbultu!' listing", American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press US, 2001, ISBN   0-19-513074-X, p. 750
  5. "Follies in Concert, with The New York Philharmonic, 1985", accessed January 6, 2011
  6. Brantley, Ben."Theater Review: 'Chasing Manet'" New York Times, April 10, 2009
  7. Gates, Anita. "Having a Merry Little Christmas and Pining for the Boy Next Door" New York Times, December 16, 2006
  8. "Tony Awards, 'Sunday in the Park with George', 1984 (Search Past Winners)", accessed January 7, 2011
  9. "1983-1984 30th Drama Desk Awards", accessed January 7, 2011
  10. Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Sunday In The Park With George'" New York Times, May 3, 1984
  11. "Tony Awards, 'Into the Woods', 1988 (Search Past Winners)", accessed January 7, 2011
  12. "1987-1988 34th Drama Desk Awards" Archived 2008-07-04 at, accessed January 7, 2011
  13. Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Into the Woods,' From Sondheim" New York Times, November 6, 1987
  14. 1 2 "Straiges biography", accessed January 6, 2011
  15. "YALE REPERTORY THEATRE, Production History, 1966/67 – 1979/80 Seasons" Yale Repertory Theatre, accessed January 6, 2011
  16. Himes, Geoffrey. "Review:Center Stage Grapples with a Particularly Pun-Riddled Script from Oscar Wilde" City Paper (Baltimore), October 6, 2004
  17. Lardner, James."Winter's Wonderland; Winter's Here; Shakespeare for All Seasons at Arena" Washington Post article (, October 11, 1979
  18. Gussow, Mel. "The Stage: Guare Chronicle, 'Women And Water'" New York Times, December 8, 1985
  19. "Creative Team, Tony Straiges ('A Christmas Carol')" Alley Theatre, accessed January 6, 2011
  20. "Artists" Pacific Northwest Ballet, accessed January 6, 2011
  21. "Tony Straiges Collection" Ohio State University Library, accessed January 6, 2011