Published in time for USITT’s 50th anniversary celebration in Kansas City last March, Late & Great: American Designers 1960-2010 comprises 25 essays which profile distinguished scenery, costume, lighting, sound, and makeup designers active during USITT's existence.

Edited by Bobbi Owen, the book has an introduction by Arnold Aronson, which paves the way for a series of well-written pieces on and about the 25 selected designers and their work... plus insights into their lives. All of these designers have left a legacy that might fade without such a book to keep their contributions to the art of stage design in the spotlight. Some are better known than others, some we remember as if they were at USITT just a year or so ago and it is surprising to see how long some of them have been gone: Abe Feder, Chris Parry, Irene Sharaff, Thomas Skelton, Oliver Smith, Rouben Ter-Aurtunian, Patricia Zipprodt, John Gleason, Richard Nye… just to name a few of the late, great designers included in the book.

Each essay is nicely illustrated with photos, sketches, plots, and plans—many of which are reproduced in color—giving additional insight into each designer’s world and style of working. It is a treat to discover a designer like Raoul Pène du Bois and see his 1950 set sketches for Call Me Madam. Then fast forward to Gail Brassard’s essay on Irene Sharaff with her beautiful costume designs, or Jody Blake’s look at the work of Rouben Ter-Aurtunian….Or the whimsy of Miles White’s 1948 sketches for “Elephant Act” at the Ringling Bros circus.

Late & Great: American Designers 1960-2010 provides a wonderful opportunity to “meet” certain designers for the first time, and renew acquaintances with others, some of which were certainly friends and colleagues—as well as mentors— to many of us, including the current generation of designers who have followed in the footsteps of these illustrious careers.

Published by: Broadway Press 2010
Price $40.00 (Non USITT members $45.00).
To purchase this publication, visit the USITT Store.