Annie Smart

Set Designer

Annie SmartAnnie Smart makes her company debut as set designer for Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Originally from the U.K., Ms. Smart trained as a singer, dancer and actress at London’s Arts Educational Trust before turning towards the visual side of theatre while taking an honours degree in Drama at Manchester University 1973-76.

Recent design work by Ms. Smart include four works by Charles Mee: Big Love, Wintertime, Fetes de la Nuit and Cardenio, all national premieres; also the premieres of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (produced locally at Berkeley Rep and at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway), Ruhl’s recent adaptation of The Three Sisters (at Berkeley Rep and Yale Rep) and her Dear Elizabeth (also recently produced at Berkeley Rep).

Other recent credits include design work for The Royal Court Theatre, Edinburgh’s Lyceum, Dusseldorfer Shauspielhaus, The Public Theater, BAM, Theatre for a New Audience, Arena Stage DC, The Guthrie, Long Wharf, ART Boston, ACT in San Francisco, ACT Seattle, La Jolla Playhouse, Steppenwolf, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, California Shakespeare Theatre, San Jose Rep, Magic Theater etc. Directors she has regularly collaborated with include Les Waters, Annie Castledine, Jules Wright, William Gaskill, David Leveaux, Tony Taccone, Carey Perloff, Mark Rucker, Meredith McDonough and Jonathan Moscone.

In the Bay Area, locally themed and developed shows include DW Jacobs’exploration of the iconoclast and innovator Buckminster Fuller, The History and Mystery of the Universe, and both Josh Kornbluth’s theatre show Ben Franklin, Unplugged and his interview show for KQED TV; also Octavio Solis’s adaptation of the Steinbeck story collection, The Pastures of Heaven, for Cal Shakes. Local musical theatre productions include Threepenny Opera (for ACT), Sweet Charity (Lesher Center), She Loves Me (Lesher Center) and Passing Strange (Berkeley Rep).

Ms. Smart was one of a handful of designers in the cutting-edge collective Joint Stock Theatre Group, developing the visuals for three major pieces with them: Fen, Fire in The Lake and A Mouthful of Birds,  and, before moving to the USA in 1996, she designed both sets and costumes for five shows at The National Theatre of Great Britain: The Father, Man Beast and Virtue, Black Snow, The Mountain Giants, and Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker. 

Before moving to the U.S., amongst numerous other teaching experiences, Ms. Smart was permanent Chair of the MA in Theatre Design and Scenography at London’s Wimbledon School of Art, at that time under the Department Chair of Malcolm Pride. In the U.S., she has been a professor level II of stage design at UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance and is currently the returning lecturer in costume and scenic design at UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance.