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Faculty Directory

Design for Stage and Film

Robert Wierzel

Robert Wierzel
Adjunct Teacher


Intro to Lighting
Lighting Design III


B.A., South Florida
M.F.A., Yale


As a lighting designer, Mr. Wierzel has worked with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theatre, dance, contemporary music, museums and opera on stages throughout the country and abroad. This summer of 2014, Mr. Wierzel worked on a new production of Madame Butterfly, directed by Francesca Zambello and An American Tragedy, directed by Peter Kazaras, both for Glimmerglass Festival.

Other work includes productions with the opera companies of Paris (Garnier); Tokyo; Toronto; Bergen National (Norway); Folk Opera (Sweden); New York City Opera; Glimmerglass Festival; Seattle; Boston Lyric; Minnesota; Florida Grand; San Francisco; Houston; Washington National; Virginia; Chicago Lyric; Opera Theatre of Chicago; Montreal; Vancouver; Portland; Colorado; Pittsburgh; Wolf Trap; San Diego and Gotham Chamber Opera, among others.

His theatre work has been seen on and off Broadway, including the play Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, (starring Audra McDonald); the musical Fela! (Tony Award nomination) and at the Royal National Theatre of London, UK. Other productions include David Copperfield’s Broadway debut Dreams and Nightmares; Grace Jones’ Hurricane Show at the Hammerstein Ballroom NYC; Enigmatic Variations (Savoy Theatre, London). Additional productions at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre; The Signature Theatre; The Roundabout; Playwrights Horizons; Mostly Mozart Festival; BAM; The Acting Company and the Lincoln Center Festival/American Songbook Series (Orpheus & Euridice choreographed by Doug Varone), among others.

Robert has a long collaboration (27 years) with choreographer & director Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (several Bessie Awards), along with productions at the Lyon Opera Ballet and Berlin Opera Ballet; and Walking The Line at The Louvre Museum, Paris. Most recently the piece Story/Time, which is touring the United States and Europe. His other dance collaborations include works with choreographers Elizabeth Streb, Liz Gerring; Andrea Miller/Gallim Dance Company; Doug Varone; Larry Goldhuber; Heidi Latsky; Sean Curran; Molissa Fenely; Donna Uchizono; Alonzo King; Charlie Moulton; Michael Tracy/Pilobolus Dance Theatre; Arthur Aviles; Margo Sappington; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Robert has collaborated with the composer Philip Glass (Hydrogen JukeboxLes Enfants Térribles- which won him an American Theatre Wing Lighting Design Award), and the visual artists Thomas Schütte, Peter McGough, Paul Kaiser, Lesley Dill, Robert Longo, Bill Katz, Red Grooms and Gretchen Bender.

His extensive regional theatre work includes productions at Alliance Theatre Company (Atlanta); A.C.T. (San Francisco); Berkley Rep; Calgary Theatre Company & Vancouver Playhouse (Canada); Center Stage (Baltimore); Arena Stage; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Shakespeare Theatre DC; Hartford Stage; Long Wharf Theatre; Westport Country Playhouse (Westport CT); Goodman Theatre; The Guthrie; Mark Taper Forum; Geva Theatre; Actors Theatre (Louisville); Old Globe (San Diego); Yale Rep and Playmakers Repertory Theatre (Chapel Hill) among many others.

In addition, he has designed the lighting for selected art exhibitions including the Red Grooms installation at Grand Central Station; at the Yale Art Gallery- Baule: African Art, Western Eyes and Love & Loss: American Portrait And Mourning Miniatures; To Know the Dark; Making It New- The Art & Style of Sara & Gerald Murphy, among others, and The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-1950, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Currently, Robert is in pre-production for Indian Ink at the Roundabout, which will premiere in early September.  Also this fall Robert will première a new production of Hansel & Gretel at Minnesota Opera, directed by Doug Varone with scenery and costumes designed by David Zinn '91.