Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, in Pittsburgh, PA, has added some impressive new names to its faculty. Susan Tsu and Paul Tazewell have signed on as full-time faculty in costume design, while Rui Rita has been named a visiting artist in lighting design.
For more than 30 years, Tsu has worked for many of the major US LORT theatres; her work has also been seen on stages in Russia, China, England, Japan, and other Pacific Rim counties. Early in her career she designed the original production of Godspell, then went on to work at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Intiman Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Theatre Virginia, Alley Theatre, and Hartford Stage. Other credits includes two productions for PBS (The Phantom of the Opera and Wilder! Wilder!), the world premiere of the opera version of The Balcony for the Bolshoi Theatre, and a stage adaptation of The Joy Luck Club, a collaboration between Long Wharf Theatre and the Shanghai People’s Art Theatre. Recent work includes Titus Andronicus at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and King Lear at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She also headed the costume programs at both Boston University and University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is serving a four-year term on the board of directors at Theatre Communications Group. This summer, her designs were seen at the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic.
Tazewell’s extensive credits include such Broadway productions as Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk; On the Town; The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, and Elaine Stritch: At Liberty. Off Broadway, his work includes Playboy of the West Indies, Dinah Was, Once Around the City, Harlem Song, Boston Marriage, Flesh and Blood, and the upcoming Fame. He has designed such resident theatre productions as Peer Gynt (Shakespeare Theatre), The Women (Arena Stage), The Importance of Being Earnest (Long Wharf Theatre), As You Like It (Arizona Theatre Company), Treemonisha (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Mourning Becomes Electra (A Contemporary Theatre/Long Wharf), Pacific Overtures (Cincinnati Playhouse/Alliance Theatre), Little Women (Glimmerglass Opera), and The Three Sisters (Guthrie Theatre). He received the 1999 Jefferson Award in Chicago, the Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, the Princess Grace Fellowship Award, and the Irene Sharaff Young Master Award.
Rita works frequently at the Alley Theatre (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Noises Off, The Invention of Love, Frame 312), Williamstown Theatre Festival (The Threepenny Opera, Loot, Light Up the Sky, Tonight at 8:30, A Raisin in the Sun), and Hartford Stage. His Off Broadway credits include Far East, Dinner with Friends, The Carpetbagger’s Children, Ancestral Voices, and Endpapers. On Broadway, he currently has the new comedy Enchanted April, which transferred from Hartford Stage.