What draws me to theater is the chance to collaborate and improvise with a director, designers, a script, or an idea - to contribute to the creation of a living, breathing work of art. This is what is so vital about theater - it is immediate, inescapable, and alive. It is the process through which words on the page become an image, and then resolve to something in between. A successful piece lives in the room with you captivating all of your senses, but does not rely exclusively on any one image or moment. It creates an entire world into which the audience is invited. A successful design is one that supports and textures this world, and is seamlessly integrated into the life of the work. My work strives to support. To layer. To shift perspective and throw into relief. To expand and to clarify the story of the piece.
Oona Curley is a lighting and scenic designer from New York City. Her work has been seen in New York (BAM, ArsNova, Atlantic Theater Co., The Vineyard, The Cherry Lane, Clubbed Thumb, Joe's Pub, JACK, La MaMa, The New Ohio, NYU/Tisch, Theater for the New City), Philadelphia (The Arden Theatre, Opera Philadelphia, Curtis Opera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Team Sunshine Performance Co., Theater Horizon, FringeArts), and regionally (The Guthrie, Long Wharf, Trinity Rep, People’s Light, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas). Oona received her MFA from NYU/Tisch, where she was awarded the J.S. Seidman Award for Design Excellence, and was NYU's nominee for a Princess Grace Award. She holds a BA from Brown University, where her designs earned the Zonta Award for Theatre Arts and the Weston Award for Theatre Design. In 2019, she was a recipient of the Lotos Foundation Prize. Oona is an associate artist with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret in Philadelphia, and a company member of Lightning Rod Special, creators of the multiple-award-winning Underground Railroad Game, which she designed. Oona is also a staff designer at Joe’s Pub and a proud member of USA 829.