By Jennifer Tipton
The esteemed lighting designer explains why lighting the stage—an often overlooked component of theater, dance, and opera—should be considered an art. Accompanying photos of Tipton’s work for New York’s Wooster Group, the San Francisco Opera, and Paul Taylor Dance Company, among others, bolster an already convincing argument.
New York-based lighting designer Jennifer Tipton is the recipient of two Bessie Awards and an Olivier Award for lighting dance. She has collaborated with artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jerome Robbins, and Twyla Tharp. Tipton’s work for theater, for which she has received two Tony Awards, an Obie, and two Drama Desk Awards, includes productions of The Cherry Orchard, Waiting for Godot, and the Wooster Group’s To You, the Birdie! Her lighting for opera includes Robert Wilson’s production of Parsifal (Houston Grand Opera) and Peter Sellars’s staging of Tannhäuser (Chicago Light Opera). Tipton, who received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2008, teaches at the Yale School of Drama.