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Tom BurchTom Burch
Assistant Professor | Scenic Design


Tom was very happy to join the Ithaca College faculty in fall 2012, after spending the past several years teaching at the University of Chicago, and working as a freelance scenic designer based there. Chicago area design credits include: TALKING PICTURES, GAS FOR LESS, the Horton Foote Festival and THE HAIRY APE (Goodman); SPUNK and COMEDY OF ERRORS (Court Theatre); TEN CHIMNEYS, SOUVENIR, A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS, RED HERRING and others (Northlight); WOYZECK, FRANKENSTEIN, NO EXIT, PIRATES OF PENZANCE, SOPHOCLES: SEVEN SICKNESSES and others (The Hypocrites); as well as shows at Chicago Shakespeare, Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, Light Opera Works, House Theatre and many other “storefront” companies. His work in Chicago garnered him 4 Jeff Award nominations (1 win), 3 After Dark Awards, and the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award.

In NYC, he designed MISTAKES WERE MADE starring Michael Shannon (Off-Broadway, Barrow Street Theatre), which originated at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre. Regional credits include THE HYPOCRITES' PIRATES OF PENZANCE (American Repertory Theatre); TOM JONES, NIXON’S NIXON, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, and OH GASTRONOMY! (Actors Theatre of Louisville – regular season and Humana Festival); THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (Arizona Theatre Co, Cleveland Playhouse), the American premier of Jukka Linkola’s opera, ROCKLAND (Pine Mountain Music Festival), as well as shows at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Milwaukee Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Peninsula Players, Stage One, Childsplay (AZ), Alpine Theatre Project, and many others. Since his arrival in Ithaca, he has become active designing in the central New York region with designs last summer at Merry Go Round Playhouse (LEGALLY BLONDE, the musical) and Hangar Theatre (4000 MILES). Currently running and upcoming projects include TOM JONES (Actors Theatre of Louisville), IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: radio play (American Theatre Co, Chicago); THE HYPOCRITES' PIRATES (Actors Theatre Louisville, Jan 2014); and IC Theatre's spring term opera, L'ETOILE (Feb 2014).

He's previously taught  at Georgetown College (KY), DePaul University Theatre School, North Park University, and Northwestern University (assistantship), from which he received his MFA in Stage Design. He also holds a BFA in Stage Design from University of Kentucky, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drama (History) from Bristol University, England (received while on a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship). He's also served as a guest artist at Wheaton College, Lake Forest College, and Grinnell College, among others.  He was the Mentor for the American Student Design Exhibit that travelled to the 2011 Prague Quadrennial (which presented the work of over 230 American student designers at the international festival). His areas of academic research interest include design for non-traditional and site-specific performance, as well as puppet and object-based theatre.  He’s a proud member of USA Local 829, the union for professional stage designers, and is active with USITT (including his current reprised role as mentor for the American Student Design Exhibit that will be part of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in Prague, Czech Republic, June 2015). He's excited to live near so many waterfalls and great hiking trails... Chicago was very flat.

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