Best Reason to Leave Humming the Scenery (2004)
Randel Wright, scenic artist
It happens at almost every play for which Randel Wright designs the set. The lights come up onstage, the audience gets its first look at his spectacular handiwork and everyone applauds. For A Girl's Guide to Chaos at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Wright filled the acting space with a ceiling-high tribute to the line drawings of the late pop artist Keith Haring, including Haring's signature crawling babies and barking dogs. For Lone Star/Laundry and Bourbon, also at CTD, Wright created an authentically shabby back porch and yard (complete with clothesline), then magically transformed it during intermission into a run-down West Texas honky-tonk lit by a gigantic rising full moon. The effect brought a satisfied "aaaaah" from the crowd. He's the only set designer successful at making the cave-like Bath House Cultural Center into an elegant acting space. For WingSpan's production of Edward Albee's Marriage Play, Wright incorporated the odd architectural elements of that venue into his rendering of a sprawling penthouse apartment. This designer definitely has a fine career building.