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Pat MacKay at the 2018 KOI-USA Awards Mark Doyle for Live Design/LDI
Pat MacKay, winner of the Paky Lifetime Recognition Award, at the 2018 KOI-USA Awards ceremony

Monday Musings: 12 Award-Winning Women

Last Friday, March 8, was International Women’s Day, and while women deserve to be applauded for their work as designers, not just singled out as women, it seemed like a good occasion to look back over the last nine months and congratulate 12 award-winning women in various design aspects for theatre and film. This is just a small sampling, so cheers to all the winning women in these fields who have served as trailblazers, pioneers, mentors, and inspiration, on both sides of the theatrical pond and in Hollywood.

2018 Tony Awards

Christine Jones took home the Tony for best scenic design of a play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two, currently running on Broadway, where she is also represented by The Cher Show. Jones also won a 2010 Tony for the scenic design on American Idiot.

Katrina Lindsay won a 2018 Tony for best costume design of a play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two. She also won a Tony in 2008 for her costumes designs for Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Catherine Zuber is a multiple Tony winner, taking home her most recent one for best costume design of a musical for My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. She won her pervious Tony Awards for The King And I, The Light In The Piazza, The Royal Family, South Pacific, The Coast Of Utopia, and Awake And Sing.

2018 Olivier Awards

The best costume design award at the 2018 Olivier Awards in London went to Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre. This British designer has worked extensively in the West End, has done a handful of productions on Broadway, and has designed for opera and ballet. Her many awards include the 2016 International Opera Award for designer.

KOI-USA Awards

Presented at LDI2018, the first US version of the KOI (Knight of Illumination) Awards honored three women in a group of very distinguished winners:

Pat MacKay, winner of the Paky Lifetime Recognition Award. Pat was the publisher of Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions magazines, the founder of LDI, a USITT Fellow, and active in the Themed Entertainment Association, as well as mentor to many women (and men) who have been inspired by her vision.


Pat MacKay accepts her KOI-USA Award. Photo by Mark Doyle for Live Design/LDI.

Peggy Eisenhauer, with her design partner Jules Fisher, was honored for the lighting of The Iceman Cometh on Broadway. She and Jules hold more Tony Awards than any other lighting designers on Broadway, and she has designed or co-designed over 40 Broadway productions as well as films and productions such as Le Reve in Las Vegas.

Peggy Eisenhauer wins KOI-USA Award for lighting design

Peggy Eisenhauer accepts her KOI-USA Award. Photo by Mark Doyle for Live Design/LDI.

Sarah Landau, winner of the Club Lighting Award for her work on the Fever Ray Tour. She appeared on the concert lighting scene in about 2008 and has made quite a name for herself in the past decade.


Sarah Landau accepts her KOI-USA Award. Photo by Mark Doyle for Live Design/LDI.

2018 Oscars

Ruth E Carter took home the Oscar for best costume design for her work on Black Panther, becoming the first African-American to win an Academy Award in that category. She has over 40 films to her credit and was previously nominated for Malcolm X and Amistad.

Hannah Beachler was honored for best production design for her work on Black Panther, making her the first African-American to be nominated, and win, in that category. She also designed the film, Moonlight, and Beyoncé’s 2016 TV Special, Lemonade, amongst her other projects.

Kate Biscoe, with Greg Cannom and Patricia Dehaney, took home the Oscar for makeup and hairstyling for Vice, marking her first nomination and win at the Academy Awards.

Chicago Theatre Awards

Women working in regional theatre all over the country win design awards every year, so kudos to them all, including these two from the Chicago theatre scene, where the play Southern Gothic put a real 1960s house on stage for an immersive audience experience:

Elsa Hiltner won a Chicago Theatre Award for her costume designs for Southern Gothic at Windy City Playhouse. She is a costume designer and wardrobe stylist for theatre, film, commercials, dance, and events.

Also winning a Chicago Theatre Award for her work on Southern Gothic at Windy City Playhouse is Becca Jeffords, for her lighting design. She works in theatre, dance, performance art, concerts, and other live events.

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