Tony Straiges (born 1942) is a scenic designer for the stage and ballet. He has designed the sets for 17 Broadway musicals, plays and specials. His sets "often have a sparse elegance or sense of fantasy about them."[1] Robert Brustein said of Straiges: "Today, he is considered one of the visual poets of the stage."[2] Straiges attended the Yale School of Drama[3] at Yale University.[4]


His first Broadway production was Timbuktu! in 1978,[5] and recently he designed the sets for Enchanted April in 2003. He provided the scenic supervision for the 1985 concert version of Follies.[6] Off-Broadway productions include Chasing Manet at Primary Stages in 2009.[7] His first off-Broadway production was Glance of a Landscape in 1975, at Playwrights Horizons. He designed the sets for the stage musical Meet Me in St. Louis at the Irish Repertory Theatre in 2006.[8] He also designed the set for the 1991 Broadway play I Hate Hamlet.

Straiges designed the set for Sunday in the Park with George (1984), and won the 1984 Tony Award, Best Scenic Design,[9] and Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Set Design[10] for his work. Frank Rich wrote that the set was "fantastic", and "What Mr. Lapine, his designers and the special-effects wizard Bran Ferren have arranged is simply gorgeous."[11]

Straiges designed the set for Into the Woods (1987), for which he was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Scenic Design[12] and Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Set Design.[13] Frank Rich wrote of the set "The designer, Tony Straiges, transports us from a mock-proscenium set redolent of 19th-century picturebook illustration into a thick, asymmetrical, Sendakesque woods whose Rorschach patterns, eerily lighted by Richard Nelson, keep shifting to reveal hidden spirits and demons."[14]

He has designed for many regional theatres, including Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut (1974–77, 1978–79, and 1981–82).[15] A sample of productions for that theatre included The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahogonny (1974), Troilus And Cressida (1976), and Tales From The Vienna Woods (1978).[16] His work for Center Stage, Baltimore, Maryland included Lady Windermere's Fan in 2004[17] and On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning in 1984. He designed for Arena Stage, Washington, DC in 1976-81, including The Winter's Tale in 1979[18] and 1982–83, and in 1985 designed Women And Water.[15][19] He designs for the Alley Theatre, Houston Texas.[20]

He also designs sets for ballet companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.[21]

A collection of 18 models of Straiges' set designs is in the Ohio State University Library.[22]


  1. ^ Wilmeth, Don B and Miller, Tice L. Tony Straiges entry, Cambridge Guide to American Theatre (2 ed.), University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-521-56444-1, p. 367
  2. ^ Brustein, Robert.Chapter: Actors and Designers, Letters to a Young Actor: A Universal Guide to Performance, Basic Books, 2007, ISBN 0-465-00814-3, p. 160
  3. ^ " -- Tony Straiges designs". Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  4. ^ Brustein, Michael and Brustein, Robert. Polemics, Reimagining American Theatre, Macmillan, 2003, ISBN 0-8090-8058-3, p.232
  5. ^ Bordman, Gerald Martin. "'Timbultu!' listing", American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press US, 2001, ISBN 0-19-513074-X, p. 750
  6. ^ "Follies in Concert, with The New York Philharmonic, 1985", accessed January 6, 2011
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben."Theater Review: 'Chasing Manet'" New York Times, April 10, 2009
  8. ^ Gates, Anita. "Having a Merry Little Christmas and Pining for the Boy Next Door" New York Times, December 16, 2006
  9. ^ "Tony Awards, 'Sunday in the Park with George', 1984 (Search Past Winners)", accessed January 7, 2011
  10. ^ "1983-1984 30th Drama Desk Awards", accessed January 7, 2011
  11. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Sunday In The Park With George'" New York Times, May 3, 1984
  12. ^ "Tony Awards, 'Into the Woods', 1988 (Search Past Winners)", accessed January 7, 2011
  13. ^ "1987-1988 34th Drama Desk Awards" Archived 2008-07-04 at, accessed January 7, 2011
  14. ^ Rich, Frank. "Stage: 'Into the Woods,' From Sondheim" New York Times, November 6, 1987
  15. ^ a b "Straiges biography", accessed January 6, 2011
  16. ^ "YALE REPERTORY THEATRE, Production History, 1966/67 – 1979/80 Seasons" Yale Repertory Theatre, accessed January 6, 2011
  17. ^ Himes, Geoffrey. "Review:Center Stage Grapples with a Particularly Pun-Riddled Script from Oscar Wilde" City Paper (Baltimore), October 6, 2004
  18. ^ Lardner, James."Winter's Wonderland; Winter's Here; Shakespeare for All Seasons at Arena" Washington Post article (, October 11, 1979
  19. ^ Gussow, Mel. "The Stage: Guare Chronicle, 'Women And Water'" New York Times, December 8, 1985
  20. ^ "Creative Team, Tony Straiges ('A Christmas Carol')" Alley Theatre, accessed January 6, 2011
  21. ^ "Artists" Pacific Northwest Ballet, accessed January 6, 2011
  22. ^ "Tony Straiges Collection" Ohio State University Library, accessed January 6, 2011