Set Designer Helen Pond dies at 92

by Kathy Eddy
Set Designer Helen Pond
Set Designer Helen Pond

Set designer Helen Pond died on Tuesday, April 11th at age 92 in her home, known as Strawberry Hill, in Yarmouth Port. With a career of 38 years, Pond and her life partner, Herbert Senn, designed for opera, ballet, regional and off-Broadway as well as nine Broadway shows, including Show Boat and the 1981 revival of Macbeth.

Her portfolio holds over 400 set designs for productions at the Cape Playhouse alone, along with more than 60 sets for for Sarah Caldwell's Opera Company of Boston, including Voyage to the Moon, which was shown at the White House for President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Apollo astronauts in 1967. For over 35 years her set design has graced the stage of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

She started her career in Ohio and then went on to receive a graduate degree from Colombia University School of Dramatic Arts. While at Columbia she met Senn and they worked as a design team until he passed away in 2003. The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod honored Pond with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Cape Playhouse's scene shop is named for Pond and Senn.

The Cape Cod Times has a lovely article about Pond’s impact on her art, her friends and the theater community. You can read the full article here.