Kami Beckford - Research Information

Kami's Project Description:

I would like to bring scenic designers of color throughout history into the spotlight. After writing about their impacts on the field, I would like to bring some of their past work to life through physical models of their sets. Showing the diversity in the field that is often hidden backstage will give individuals the chance to see themselves in the field and encourage them to pursue the career.

Here are some reserch photos from Kami:

Stratford Festival Stage - Tanya Moiseiwitsch

The Stratford Festival was the biggest part of Moiseiwitsch's working life. She designed costumes, sets, and this permanent  thrust stage, which was a departure from the usual proscenium "picture frame" stage. She influenced 20th century theater by stressing the importance of the relationship between the audience and the stage, and many stages across the country were modeled after this one.


Anna Christie - Emeline Roche

Roche designed productions for Broadway, for the Paper Mill playhouse in NJ, and the Newport Casino Theater in Connecticut, where she was both a scenic designer and the technical director. Many of her sets are extremely detailed exteriors - this set is a slight departure as she zoomed out to show the setting and used angles to exaggerate depth.


Harbor Lights - Perry Watkins

Beginning as a stagehand for the Federal Theater, Perry Watkins was the first African American scenic designer on Broadway, and the first African American admitted into the United Scenic Artists Union. According to newspaper accounts, his colleagues really spoke highly of him and his work.


Blood Wedding - Randy Barceló 

Barceló designed sets and costumes for theater, opera, and dance in New York, Italy, and France. He became the first Hispanic individual to be nominated for a Tony for his costume designs for Jesus Christ Superstar. This set was built for a production at INTAR, an NYC based Latino theater. 


Run Meresu - Setsu Asakura

Asakura is a Japanese designer who has designed sets for over 400 productions. Her designs involve traditional Japanese techniques, like yatai kuzushi, or the stage falling apart in front of the audience, as well as the use of unexpected materials like umbrella ribs or scraps from old kimonos. I like to think of her sets as optical illusions - she really likes to explore depth and perspective.