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Bio


KATE SUTTON + JOHNSON

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Bio


KATE SUTTON + JOHNSON

 

Kate Sutton-Johnson is a 3D designer, specializing in environmental, exhibit, and stage design for both live events and permanent installations.  Kate holds a BFA degree in set design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and she was the recipient of the 2007 Ivey Award for Emerging Artist and the 2016 Ivey Award for Set Design. 

Her theatre design credits extend back to 2002 and include dozens of shows.  Some of her most recent theatre collaborators include the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN), the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IN); the Children’s Theatre Company (MN); Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts (MN); the 5th Avenue Theater (WA); Theatre Latte Da (MN); Guthrie Theater (MN); Weston Playhouse (VT); Mixed Blood Theatre Company (MN); Florida Stage (FL) and the Riverside Theatre (FL) among many others.  

Kate is a long-time collaborator with the design department at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She designed the world premiere traveling exhibition entitled MAYA: Hidden Worlds Revealed which is now touring the U.S.  This 15,000 square foot exhibit employs hundreds of priceless artifacts, massive replicas, and immersive environments to show audiences the fascinating social, natural and spiritual realms of the ancient Maya and their highly advanced civilization.  In researching for this project, Kate traveled to Belize with a Science Museum of Minnesota team.  There, she explored many major Maya sites (including caves used for ritual practices) met with museum professionals and leading archaeologists in the field, and participated in interviews with modern descendants of the ancient Maya.  Seeing the powerful connections the modern Maya have to their rich past, and yet how tenuous these connections can become over time, is a reminder of how important it is to learn and celebrate our collective human history in all its many facets.

Over the past decade, Kate has additionally taught set design and scenic painting at both the BFA and MFA levels at a number of institutions including the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, Augsburg College, and Macalester College.  She enjoys public speaking and welcomes opportunities to talk with audiences, students, and colleagues about any number of topics on design and theatre-making.

Since 2014, Kate has proudly served on the Board of Directors for 7th House Theater.  This role is rather unique: equal parts fundraiser, advocate, designer, artistic advisor and dramaturge; it is a glorious partnership.  Click here for a spotlight on 7th House Theater.

In 2011, Kate was generously awarded a TCG Global Connections grant and traveled to Congo Brazzaville for twenty-one days.  This project was life changing and continues to be an unending source of inspiration.  Connections made with other artists on this journey cemented many of her long-held beliefs about the universal language of theatre.  At the same time, mishaps and miscommunications associated with this first-world-meets-third-world experience taught her to question new aspects of her art.  Working with indigenous cultures on future projects is a clear passion and a goal.  Her previous experience in Africa has given her a richer understanding of the complexity of an international collaboration.  Click here for a spotlight on Kate’s theatre collaboration in the Republic of Congo. 

Photography courtesy of Amy Anderson.

 
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Testimonial 4


"Kate Sutton-Johnsonis more than a designer."

-PETER ROTHSTEIN

Testimonial 4


"Kate Sutton-Johnsonis more than a designer."

-PETER ROTHSTEIN

"Kate Sutton-Johnson is more than a designer. She has the acute instincts of an actor, the intellectual rigor of a dramaturg and the insightful vision of a director. A design by Kate is more like an ideal scene partner than a static piece of scenery.  Her environments are kinetic, impulsive and continue to reveal themselves throughout the theatrical event. And like a good scene partner, she makes her colleagues better. I know this to be true."

-Peter Rothstein, Artistic Director, Theater Latte Da

 

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Credits


production credits

Credits


production credits


MUSICALS

SWEENEY TODD, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, produced by Theater Latte Da (MN) in 2015, directed by Peter Rothstein
MARY POPPINS, music and lyrics by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, additional music by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, book by Julian Fellowes, produced by Midlothian High School Theatre Department in 2015, directed by Katherine Baugher
INTO THE WOODS, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, produced by Theater Latte Da (MN) in 2015, directed by Peter Rothstein
JONAH AND THE WHALE, music and lyrics by Blake Thomas and David Darrow, book by Tyler Mills, produced by 7th House Theater (MN) and presented by the Guthrie Theater in 2014, directed by Emily King and Tyler Michaels
SHREK THE MUSICAL, music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, produced by the Children’s Theatre Company (MN) in 2014, directed by Peter Rothstein
CABARET, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, produced by Theater Latte Da and the Hennepin Theatre Trust (MN) in 2014, directed by Peter Rothstein
GUYS AND DOLLS, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, produced by the 5th Avenue Theatre (WA) in 2011 and remounted at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN) and Theatre Under the Stars (TX), directed by Peter Rothstein
BEYOND THE RAINBOW, by William Randall Beard, music arranged by David Lohman, produced by the History Theatre (MN) in 2005 and again in 2011, directed by Ron Peluso
MADAME MAJESTA'S MIRACLE MEDICINE SHOW, music by Aaron Gabriel, lyrics by Tod Peterson, book by Dawn Brodey, produced by Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts (MN) in 2010, directed by Dario Tangelson                                   
DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton, produced by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN) in 2009, directed by Robert Johanson
SINGING IN THE RAIN, book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed, music by Nacio Herb Brown, produced by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN) in 2009, directed by James Rocco
GREY GARDENS, book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie, produced by Park Square Theatre and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN) in 2009, co-directed by James Rocco and Jayme McDaniel
PARADE, book by Alfred Uhry, music by Jason Robert Brown, produced by Theater Latte Da and the Minnesota Jewish Theatre (MN) in 2008, directed by Peter Rothstein
YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, by Clark Gesner, produced by Stages Theatre (MN) in 2008, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett
DISNEY'S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, music and lyrics by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Ray and Greg Cham, Drew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Bryan Louiselle, David N. Lawrence, Faye Greenberg and Jamie Houston, book by David Simpatico, produced by the Children’s Theatre Company (MN) in 2007, directed by Peter Rothstein
BEYOND THE RAINBOW, by William Randall Beard, music arranged by David Lohman, produced by the Riverside Theatre (FL) in 2007, directed by Ron Peluso
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, by Richard O’Brien, produced by the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (MN) in 2007, directed by James Rocco
BEYOND THE RAINBOW, by William Randall Beard, music arranged by David Lohman, produced by Florida Stage (FL) in 2006, directed by Ron Peluso
SEUSSICAL, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, produced by Stages Theatre (MN) in 2006, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett
FOUND, by Victor Zupanc, produced by Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) in 2005, directed by Marcela Lorca
THE GRAND DUKE, by Gilbert and Sullivan, produced by The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company (MN) in 2003, directed by Randy Winkler

PLAYS

BECKY'S NEW CAR, by Steven Dietz, produced by the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IN) in 2010, directed by James Still
PRINCESS ACADEMY, based on the best-selling book by Shannon Hale, adapted for the stage by Lisa Hall Hagen, original music composed by Aaron Gabriel, produced by Stages Theatre (MN) in 2010, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett
LIFE IS SWEET, a devised work created by the artists at Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts (MN) in 2010, directed by Tod Peterson
THE SNOWY DAY, by Ezra Jack Keats, adapted for the stage by Mark Rosenwinkel, music by Michael Mahler, produced by Stages Theatre Company (MN) in 2010, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett
WELL, by Lisa Kron, produced by Park Square Theatre in 2009, directed by Michael Bigelow Dixon
RABBIT HOLE, by David Lindsay-Abaire, produced by the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IN) in 2009, directed by James Still
HOW I BECAME A PIRATE, by Janet Yates Vogt, produced by Stages Theatre (MN) in 2008, remounted at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2008, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett
1001, by Jason Grote, produced by Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) in 2008, directed by Sarah Rasmussen
CRIMES OF THE HEART, by Beth Henley, produced by the Commonweal Theatre (MN) in 2007, directed by David Gardiner
A NUMBER, by Caryl Churchill, produced by the Weston Playhouse (VT) in 2007, directed by Steve Stettler
MESSY UTOPIA, by Naomi Iizuka, Seema Sueko, Aditi Brennan-Kapil, and Velina Hasu-Houston, produced by Mixed Blood Theater (MN) in 2007, directed by Aditi Brennan-Kapil
THE AMAZING ADVENTURE OF ANNA MARIE, by Mollye Maxner, produced by the Open Dream Ensemble (NC) in 2007, directed by Mollye Maxner
HARRIET AND WALT, based on the book by Nancy Calson, adapted for the stage by Jennifer Kirkeby, produced by Stages Theatre (MN) in 2007, directed by Marilee Mahler
TWELFTH NIGHT, by William Shakespeare, produced by Macalester College Theatre Department (MN) in 2006, directed by Cheryl Moore Brinkley
LUTEFISK CHAMP AND OTHER FROZEN HOLIDAY TALES, by David Mann, produced by the History Theatre (MN) in 2006, directed by Craig Johnson
YELLOWMAN, by Dael Orlandersmith, produced by Mixed Blood Theatre and presented by the Guthrie Theater (MN) in 2006, directed by Marion McClinton
STREGA NONA, by Tomie dePaola, adapted for the stage by Thomas W. Olson, produced by the Weston Playhouse (VT) in 2006, directed by Tim Fort
CONSTANT STAR, by Tazewell Thompson, produced by Park Square Theater (MN) in 2006, directed by Warren Bowles
THE ILLUSION, by Tony Kushner, produced by Augsburg College Theatre Department (MN) in 2006, directed by Martha Johnson
CONFLUENCE, a devised work created by the Guthrie BFA acting program, produced by the Guthrie Theater (MN) in 2006, directed by Marcela Lorca
QUEEN OF THE REMOTE CONTROL, by Sujata Bhatt, produced by Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) in 2005, directed by Aditi Brennan-Kapil
SEASCAPE, by Edward Albee, produced by the Jon Hassler Theater in 2005, directed by Matt Sciple
PERMANENT COLLECTION, by Tom Gibbons, produced by Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) in 2004, directed by Warren Bowles
FLAGS, by Jane Martin, commissioned by the Guthrie Theater and produced by Mixed Blood Theatre (MN) in 2004, directed by Steve Pearson
AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN, by Douglas Carter Beane, produced by Theater in the Round (MN) in 2003, directed by Zach Curtis
MARVIN'S ROOM, by Scott McPherson, produced by Theatre in the Round (MN) in 2002
THE GOOD PERSON OF SETZUAN, by Bertolt Brecht, adaptation by Tony Kushner, produced by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2002, directed by John Dillon
CHEKHOV IN YALTA, by John Driver and Jeffrey Haddow, produced by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2001, directed by Tanya Belov

 



MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

Weighing the Evidence, permanent exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (3D Design)
Donald W. Reynolds Great Plains Discovery Center, produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton, OK (3D Design and Scenic Artist)
Create.Connect, produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers, IN (3D Design)
Space: And Out-of-Gravity Experience, national tour produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota (Scenic Artist)
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, national tour produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Museum of Science Boston, and the San Diego Natural History Museum (3D Design and Scenic Artist)
Living West, produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for History Colorado, Denver, CO (Scenic Artist)
Sports Hall, Being Human Hall, and the Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall, produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, TX (3D Design)
Discovery Rooms for Little Learners, California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA (Scenic Artist)
RACE, national tour produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota (Scenic Artist)
Lost Egypt, national tour produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota (Scenic Artist)
Wild Music, national tour produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota (Scenic Artist)
Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, national tour produced by Museum of Science Boston and Lucas Film LTD (Scenic Artist)

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