BEST SET DESIGNER

Dickie Corley

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The 2002-03 theater season included the usual share of attractive living rooms, from Richard Crowell's wonderfully realistic set for American Stage's Over the River and Through the Woods to R.T. Williams' beautiful upscale apartment for Stageworks' The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. But the most charming and cheering of all the year's constructs was the half-real, half-cartoon brick exterior that Dickie Corley designed for Jobsite Theater's Cloud 9. This enchanting facade was so whimsical in appearance, so poised between the genuine and the fantastical, that it put us in precisely the right mood for the comic gender and race paradoxes that run through Caryl Churchill's mind-altering play. Any good set designer can do a realistic interior, but it takes a real talent to find the soul of a play and turn it into a principle of architecture. Thanks to Dickie Corley, Churchill's wacky but ultra-serious world found a home and a habitation.

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