He's a three-peat choice in this category, but Randel Wright has little local competition in the area of theatrical set design. Wright now works full-time as design director for Dallas Children's Theater, but his exquisitely rendered and beautifully constructed set pieces have adorned stages at Dallas Theater Center, WaterTower, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Circle Theatre and others. A midlife return to theater design was a big career risk for the architecturally trained designer, but he hasn't looked back since re-entering the theater world a few years ago. Dozens of productions later, he's at the top of his profession. Look closely at his sets. He doesn't just paint walls and pick out furniture. In his designs are visual interpretations of the playwright's work. For WaterTower's recent musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Wright's set wrote its own jokes. He incorporated dollar-store gewgaws all over the stage, edging the gauzy curtains with "fringe" made out of plastic spoons—a little dig perhaps at how much the actors were chewing the scenery with their performances.