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Celebrating Richard L. Hay’s USITT Award

Michael S. Eddy • Industry News • April 7, 2021

We at Stage Directions join the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in warmly congratulating OSF Scenic & Theatre Designer Emeritus Richard L. Hay on being named the 2021 USITT Award recipient—the highest honor given by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, recognizing a lifetime of distinguished contribution to the performing arts or entertainment communities in any capacity. Here’s a video that OSF produced in 2015 on Hay and his legacy, which OSF has fully archived:

OSF is lucky to have a complete record of Richard Hay’s work. Beginning in 1950, over an astonishing 63 seasons, Hay was the principal influence or created the design for all Festival theatres and designed 246 productions, including the entire Shakespearean canon—twice!

The USITT Award, the highest honor given by USITT, recognizes a lifetime of distinguished contribution to the performing arts community. This year, The USITT Award was bestowed upon Richard L. Hay, scenic & theatre designer emeritus. As not only an influential creative vision of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but he is also an accomplished theater consultant and architect. Hay was the principal theater facility designer for the theater spaces at OSF. In 2009 the OSF dedicated its season to Hay on the 50th anniversary of the OSF Elizabethan stage, which Hay had designed.

Richard L. Hay, scenic & theatre designer emeritus with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

In addition to his work at OSF he has designed at many of the best-known theatres around the country including Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, PCPA Theaterfest, The Old Globe Theatre, Missouri Repertory Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Kennedy Center. He was artistic director for design at Denver Center Theatre Company for seven seasons, represented American stage design at the Prague Quadrennial Scenography Exhibition multiple times, and his design of The Thomas Theatre was shown in the Prague Quadrennial Architectural Exhibit in 2007.

As well as the USITT Award, Hay is a recipient of a Fulbright Grant to England; an Oregon Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1989; a USITT Distinguished Achievement Award winner in 1999 and was named a USITT Fellow of the Institute in 2007. Hay has had a profound influence on scenic and theatre design throughout his career and lifetime.







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