Clarke Dunham


Clarke Dunham has designed the scenery, lighting and/or projections for over 300 Broadway, off-Broadway, Regional Theatre and Opera productions during an award-winning career that now spans more than four decades. Since making his professional debut at the Valley Forge Music Fair while still a student at Philadelphia’s Tyler School of Fine Arts.  Mr. Dunham’s designs have been seen in major theaters throughout the United States, Canada and Europe including: Broadway, off-Broadway, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Goodman Theatre and the Lyric Opera in Chicago, the Miami Opera, Houston Grand Opera, O’Keefe Center in Toronto, the Theatre Carre in Amsterdam, the Royalty in London, the Theatre de Paris and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

Clarke Dunham has been repeatedly recognized by the industry for his perceptive, sensuous contributions to the theatre. He is the recipient of the Maharam Award (best scenery and lighting for a Broadway musical) for “The Me Nobody Knows”, the Jefferson Award (given by the Chicago critics for best scenery and lighting of the season) for “Twentieth Century”, and  Drama Desk nominations for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Hagar’s Children” and the 1997 Broadway production of “Candide”. His many collaborations with Harold Prince have netted him a Tony nomination in 1984 for “End of The World”, and Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations in 1985 for the musical, “Grind”.

In over forty  years of innovative and unconventional design work, he has significantly influenced the New York theatre, having to his credit such diverse shows as the smash hit political satire, “Mac Bird”, the much acclaimed 1974 revivals of “Waltz of the Toreadors” and “The Iceman Cometh”, the exuberant “Bubbling Brown Sugar”, “The End of The World”, “Three Guys Naked From The Waist Down” and “Grind”.

Equally at home in the world of opera, Clarke Dunham has designed the scenery, lighting and/or projections for dozens of productions. Outstanding among them are the New York City Opera’s “Candide” and the Chicago Lyric Opera’s “Madama Butterfly”, both seen on PBS, both directed by Mr. Prince, as well as two strikingly different productions of “Cavaleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci” for the Miami Opera and the New York City Opera. In 1993 he contributed the scenery and projections for the Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Carlisle Floyd’s “Wuthering Heights”. Mr. Dunham is also active as a director /designer in music theatre having to his credit the American Premiere of Wagner’s “Das Liebesverbot” at the Waterloo Festival and “Amahl And The Night Visitors” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In fact, Mr. Dunham has been involved in nearly every area of entertainment. He has produced. He has designed for network television, commercials, industrial shows, World’s Fairs, and Theme Parks. Also an expert in theater design and renovation, he designed the Perry Street Theater in New York City and the theater at the B.O.C.E.S. Theater Complex in Syosset, L.I. and in 2001 the new theater space at the Chester Town Center in Chestertown, NY. The incredible success of his “Citibank Station” Christmas train display (now the “Station at Navy Pier”, Chicago) and its 1996 successor, the “Station at Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center” created for the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center atrium in New York City have propelled him into what have become dual careers—both as theatrical designer and designer/fabricator of custom model train layouts. His most recent Broadway credit is the Hal Prince Production of “Candide” which opened on Broadway in April of 1997. Since then, he has re-created the 1939 Worlds’ Fair production of Aaron Copland’s “From Sorcery to Science” for the E.O.S. Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1998, and created a multi-media production of Haydn’s opera “Philemon & Baucis” for New York’s Orchestra of St. Lukes in 1999 and again in 2002.