Tharon Musser, the dean of Broadway lighting design, passed away at the age of 84. "After a long illness, Tharon passed away comfortably in the company of her long-time partner Marilyn Rennagel," reports Steve Terry, who worked with Tharon on the Tony Award-winning production of A Chorus Line in 1975. "For those of us that knew Tharon, this is not unexpected news, but still very, very hard to hear."
Musser, who was born on January 8, 1925, won the Tony for Best Lighting Design for A Chorus Line as well as Follies (1972) and Dreamgirls (1982). She designed over 150 Broadway shows, garnering another seven Tony nominations. Considered a pioneer in the field and the Dean of American Lighting Designers, she was acclaimed for her groundbreaking work on A Chorus Line, the first Broadway production to utilize a completely computerized lighting console instead of the manually operated "piano boards."
Musser received a Light In Life Award at LDI in 1990, as well as a Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. At the 2007 United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Musser was honored with a tribute to her long and impressive career.
To share your memories of Tharon Musser, go to the Live Design Forum.