York Theatre Company Celebrates the Scenic Designs of James Morgan

by Michael Eddy
Scenic designs by James Morgan
Scenic designs by James Morgan

The York Theatre Company will present an exhibit of its Producing Artistic Director, James Morgan’s other career as a Scenic Designer with a retrospective look at over 40 years of his designs. The exhibition will be held at The York Theatre Company in the lower lobby of the Theater at Saint Peter’s. 

The special exhibit of Mr. Morgan’s designs is open to the public, and will be available for viewing through the summer. Two wine and cheese receptions for the exhibit are currently scheduled: One special event for York Members on Wednesday, June 14, and one for the general public on Wednesday, June 28; both events are from 5:00-7:00 p.m. For reservations, please call 212-935-5824, x218. The theater is located at 154 East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue.

“This past April, The York celebrated the 20th anniversary of Jim’s tenure as Producing Artistic Director,” stated Evans Haile, York’s Executive Director. “And now, we proudly celebrate his incredible work as Scenic Designer with this special summer exhibition. Audiences for more than 40 years have delighted in his scenic designs in well over 100 productions here, as have audiences across the country. It is truly a remarkable catalog of work.”

James MorganMorgan has been associated with The York for 43 years, the last 20 as Producing Artistic Director. He has helped make The York Theatre Company a place “where musicals come to life.” He has designed scenery for over 300 productions in theaters around the country, on Broadway and Off-, including over 100 productions at the York. 

A member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, Morgan’s recent designs include Cagney (York Theatre Company and Westside Theatre); Finian’s Rainbow (Irish Rep); The Mousetrap (Cape Playhouse); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Peterborough Players, NH Theatre Award—Best Scenic Design); Marry HarryCloser Than EverStoryville, and Inventing Mary Martin (York Theatre Company); and Spamalot (Geva). Other designs of his represented in the exhibit include York’s Pacific Overtures (1984), No Way to Treat a Lady (Drama Desk nomination, 1977), Sweeney Todd (York’s production at Circle in the Square,1989; Drama Desk nomination), the Irish Rep’s Pigtown (Hewes Design Award, 2003) and Caldwell Theatre Company’s Falsettoland (Carbonell Award).  He has numerous graphic design and directing credits, as well.

For additional information, please visit yorktheatre.org.

The York Theatre Company is the only theater in New York City—and one of very few in the world—dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past. For over four decades, York’s intimate, imaginative style of producing both original and classic musicals has resulted in critical acclaim and recognition from artists and audiences alike. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused on new musicals in its Mainstage Series—most of them world, American, or New York premieres—by some of the field’s most esteemed creators, and has also helped launch the careers of many talented new writers. Over 35 cast recordings from York Theatre Company productions are now available on CD, including its acclaimed revival of Closer Than Ever (2013 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); commercial transfers of such York premieres as The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Souvenir (Tony Award Nomination for actress Judy Kaye), and Jolson & Company, and revivals of Pacific Overtures  and Sweeney Todd(four Tony Nominations including Best Revival) have all showcased the importance of the York and its programs. Recent hits have included Rothschild and SonsPlaid Tidings, and Cagney.