Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spotlight on Nora Set Designer Kristen Robinson and the Princess Grace Award

by Erin Focone, Marketing Intern

Kristen Robinson, set designer of our production of Ingmar Bergman’s Nora, was born to a family of artists in rural Ohio, and grew up building forts and painting pictures. Art, in many different forms, has always been a major part of her life.

“I am an artist by need, not by choice,” says Robinson on her website. “I will always lead a life of theatre and art because to not create would be an active denial of the truth of who I am as a person. I am an artist who wishes to live the work she has been called to do…I cannot imagine I would be able to live in any other way."

Liv Rooth as Nora. Set by Kristen Robinson.

Robinson attended Centre College where she graduated Cum Laude, with a BA in Dramatic Arts and Studio Art. She then went on to Yale School of Drama to pursue her MFA in Set Design. During her time at Yale, Robinson designed sets throughout the academic year and she kept her summers busy by working on sets for the Yale Summer Cabaret Shakespeare Festival.

In 2013, Robinson received the Pierre Cardin Award, allowing her the opportunity to work with the Playhouse during the entire 2014 season. This fellowship award comes from The Princess Grace Foundation, started in honor the of Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly. The foundation continues her legacy by assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film.

By receiving this award, Robinson found that it has opened many doors for her. “It has been an incredible experience” said Robinson. “The main gift, besides the honor of getting to design for the Playhouse, was that it enabled me to be more selective in the work that I took at this early stage in my career.”

Cut to today and Robinson’s brilliant and thought-provoking set can be viewed each night on stage in our production of Nora. When her time with us comes to an end, Robinson will be off to Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, where she will be designing their set for an upcoming production of Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo.  

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