In Memoriam: Jonathan Bixby


Costume designer Jonathan Bixby died April 29, from complications due to colon cancer. He was 41.

A native of Media, PA, Bixby studied at the Polakov School of Set and Costume Design. Among his many theatre designs were the last Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, The Skin of Our Teeth (Jean Cocteau Rep), Sheba (Jewish Repertory), The Coconuts (American Place Theatre), Merton of the Movies (Geffen Theatre, Los Angeles), tours of The Sound of Music (starring Marie Osmond) and The Wiz (starring Stephanie Mills), and the Broadway shows Band in Berlin and Street Corner Symphony. For the Encores! at City Center series, his credits included Strike Up the Band and Tenderloin.

He was, perhaps, best known for his work on a series of productions at the Off Broadway company The Drama Dept., which he helped to found, along with artistic director Douglas Carter Beane. Among the productions Bixby designed for the company were As Bees in Honey Drown, Kingdom of Earth, As Thousands Cheer, June Moon, and The Torch-Bearers [pictured]. (Click here for an ED story on Bixby's costume designs for that show.) In many cases, Bixby shared co-design credit with his longtime colleague Gregory A. Gale.

Bixby received a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for his designs for the musical Sayonara, as well as an Emmy Award for the soap opera All My Children. He also designed for One Life to Live. His film credits include Eventual Wife and Angel Passing, the latter starring Hume Cronyn and Teresa Wright. He also designed for the touring company Cirque Ingenieux.

At the time of his death, his most recent production, the Off Broadway musical Urinetown (designed with Gale) was in previews. The show opened last weekend to strongly positive reviews and is expected to transfer to a commercial theatre.

Bixby is survived by his longtime partner, Bryan Bantry, as well as his mother, a sister and a brother.

Suggested Articles:

frame:work is hosting an online conference for video production professionals working in live entertainment and installations

After a stressful week, a perfect time for an online opera or some Pink Floyd.

DIN Spec validates GDTF as an open standard for the entertainment industry worldwide