R. T. Williams

Life at Tampa’s Stageworks should be divided into B.R.T. and A.R.T. — before and after R. T. Williams. Before the New York-based designer became Stageworks’ visual artist of choice, this company’s productions were often damaged by sloppy or ill-conceived environments. Now, however, Stageworks shows boast beautifully detailed sets, as professional as any you’ll find in regional theater. For last season’s civil rights drama Bapbomb, Williams turned the Gorilla Theater into a law office, above which loomed the wreckage of a church, a child’s bicycle and a cross. For the upper-middle-class Sisters Rosensweig, he designed a posh London flat that might credibly belong to the banker Sarah Goode; and for The Mystery of Irma Vep, he offered a haunted mansion redolent of Hitchcock and Walt Disney. Williams’ association with Stageworks has been a boon for producing artistic director Anna Brennen, but most of all it’s been a pleasure for local theatergoers.

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