Annie Smart

Continuing Lecturer

Set & Costume Design

  • Zellerbach Room 8
  • Tuesday and Thursday, 11–11:30am, and by appointment
  • Email

Professional Practice
I initially trained as a singer, dancer and actress at London’s Arts Educational Trust before turning towards the visuals of theatre while taking a degree at Manchester. After post-graduate studies in Brechtian design I worked as resident designer/collaborator for children’s theatre, theatre-in-education and community theatre companies, developing story-telling fantasies alongside educational and political pieces. I took the Motley Theatre Design Course, a post-graduate intensive training in theatre design. Following this I was appointed Resident Designer first at Leicester Haymarket Studio Theatre and later Liverpool Repertory. In 1981 I became a member of the cutting-edge collective Joint Stock Group, developing the visuals for three major pieces with them. Throughout the 1980s and 90s my work in the UK was particularly associated with emerging women’s and feminist theatre, designing premieres for Caryl Churchill (Fen, A Mouthful of Birds and The Skriker), Bryony Lavery, Clare McIntyre, Anne Devlin, Sarah Daniels, Louise Page, Elizabeth Bond and Shelagh Stephenson. Before moving to the USA in 1996 I designed sets and costumes for five shows at London’s National Theatre: The Father, Man Beast and Virtue, Black Snow, The Mountain Giants, and The Skriker.

More recently and as a US resident, I’ve designed the settings for the premieres of four works by Charles Mee: Big Love, Wintertime, Fetes de la Nuit and Cardenio, and three new scripts for Sarah Ruhl: In the Next Room (when my designs went to Broadway), her version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters and most recently, Dear Elizabeth.

I currently design about 4 shows a year, mostly sets and occasionally costumes. My work has been seen at such major theatres as The Royal Court Theatre, Edinburgh Lyceum, The Public Theater NY, BAM, Arena Stage, The Guthrie, La Jolla Playhouse, ACT, Long Wharf, ART, Dusseldorf Schauspielhaus, Tricycle, Theater for a New Audience, Steppenwolf, Berkeley Rep, etc. Directors I have collaborated with regularly include Les Waters, Annie Castledine, Jules Wright, William Gaskill, David Leveaux, Tony Taccone, Carey Perloff, Meredith McDonough, Amy Glazer and Jonathon Moscone.

Teaching Experience
Amongst many other teaching positions I was Chair of the MFA in Theatre Design and Scenography at London’s Wimbledon School of Art 1994-96 and Adjunct Professor of Stage Design at UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance 1999-2004.