Robert Wierzel

Lecturer in Design

As a lighting designer, Mr. Wierzel has worked with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theatre, dance, contemporary music, museums and opera on stages throughout the country and abroad. This summer of 2017, Mr. Wierzel worked on a new production of Oklahoma, directed by Molly Smith and Xerxes, directed by Tazewell Thompson, both for Glimmerglass Festival. Additionally, this summer, Robert has designed a new musical called A Legendary Romance, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which was directed by Lonny Price.    

His theatre work has been seen on and off Broadway, including the play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, (starring Audra McDonald) directed by Lonny Price; the musical Fela! (Tony Award nomination) and at the Royal National Theatre of London, UK, directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones. Other productions include David Copperfield’s Broadway debut Dreams and Nightmares; Grace Jones’ Hurricane Show at the Hammerstein Ballroom NYC; Enigmatic Variations (Savoy Theatre, London).  Additional productions at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre; The Signature Theatre; The Roundabout; Playwrights Horizons; Mostly Mozart Festival; BAM; The Acting Company and the Lincoln Center Festival/American Songbook Series (Orpheus & Euridice- choreographed by Doug Varone), among others.

Robert has a long collaboration (32 years) with choreographer & director Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (several Bessie Awards), along with productions at the Lyon Opera Ballet and Berlin Opera Ballet; and Walking The Line at The Louvre Museum, Paris. Most recently the piece Analogy/Trilogy had its full premiere at the American Dance Festival.  His other dance collaborations include works with choreographers Elizabeth Streb (Kiss The Air), Liz Gerring (Glacier, Horizon); Andrea Miller/Gallim Dance (Fold Here); Doug Varone (Re-Composed); Larry Goldhuber; Heidi Latsky; Molissa Fenely; Donna Uchizono; Alonzo King; Charlie Moulton; Michael Tracy/Pilobolus Dance Theatre; Arthur Aviles; Margo Sappington; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the Sean Curran Company. 

Robert has collaborated with the composer Philip Glass (Hydrogen Jukebox, Les Enfants Térribles- which won him an American Theatre Wing Lighting Design Award), and the visual artists Thomas Schütte, Peter McGough, Paul Kaiser, Lesley Dill, Robert Longo, Bill Katz, Red Grooms and Gretchen Bender.

In addition, he has designed the lighting for selected art exhibitions including the Red Grooms installation at Grand Central Station; at the Yale Art Gallery- Baule: African Art, Western Eyes and Baule: African ALove & Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures; To Know The Dark; Making It New- The Art & Style of Sara & Gerald Murphy, among others, and The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-1950, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Currently, Robert is in pre-production for A Walk On The Moon, a new musical being directed by Sheryl Kaller; The Nefarious, Immortal but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, a new opera directed by David Schweizer, premiering this fall at Boston Lyric Opera; We Shall Not Be Moved, a new opera directed by Bill T. Jones, a co-production with Opera Philadelphia and the Apollo Theatre, NYC; Sovereignty, a new play directed by Molly Smith at Arena Stage; An Enemy of the People, a new production directed by Robert Falls, at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago; The Summer King, a new opera directed by Sam Helfrich; the opera Eugene Onegin, directed by Tomer Zvulun, a co-production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Atlanta Opera and Hawaii Opera; and  Rigoletto, directed by Mark Lamos for L.A. Opera.  

In the Summer of 2018, Robert will continue his long association at Glimmerglass Festival with Silent Night, a new opera directed by Tomer Zvulun, and The Barber of Seville, a new production directed by Francesca Zambello.  In addition, Analogy/Trilogy, directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will have its NYC première at the Lincoln Center Festival.