Michael Yeargan Named 2019 Tom Killen Award Recipient

Michael Yeargan, two-time Tony Award-winning set designer and co-chair of the design program at Yale School of Drama, will be the 2019 recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle’s annual Tom Killen Award, recognizing his long service and achievement to theater in the state, New York and internationally.

The award will be presented June 3 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam at the 29th annual event celebrating and honoring the state’s outstanding professional theater. The event, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Yeargan is professor in the practice of design at the Yale School of Drama where he has taught since 1973. He is also resident set designer at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven.

In 1974 Yeargan graduated from the Yale School of Drama where he studied under legendary designers Donald Oenslager and Ming Cho Lee. In 2012 he succeeded longtime design program chairman Ming Cho Lee and became co-chairman of the department, with Stephen Strawbridge.

Yeargan’s Tony Award-winning scenic designs included “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza.” He also received six additional nominations among his 25 Broadway credits for “My Fair Lady,” “The King and I,” “Oslo,” Golden Boy,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Goner” and “Awake and Sing.” Other Broadway designs include: “Cymbeline,” “Seascape,” “The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm,” “Ah, Wilderness!,” “Hay Fever,” “It Had to Be You,” “A Lesson from Aloes,” “Dirty Linen & New-Found-Land,” “Something Old, Something New,” “Me Jack, You Jill,” “The Ritz,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and his first show in 1974, “Bad Habits.”

Yeargan has designed numerous productions off-Broadway and in regional theaters throughout the United States, many at Long Wharf Theatre, as well as for opera companies around the world.

Yeargan designed his first opera production in 1970 — “La Bohème” — at the Nevada Opera Company. Since that time his opera sets have been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, the Seattle Opera, the LA Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Opera, Glimmerglass and the New York City Opera, as well as the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, the Welsh National Opera, the Scottish Opera, the Théâtre musical de Paris, the Frankfurt Opera, and Opera Australia.

Previous Killen winners include Mark Lamos, Lloyd Richards, Michael Price, Michael Wilson, Lucille Lortel, Anne Keefe and Carmen de Lavallade, Paulette Haupt, and last year’s recipient Michael O’Flaherty, longtime music director of Goodspeed Musicals.

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