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R. Lee Kennedy

Professor, Lighting Design

215 Drama Bldg.
Charlottesville, VA

Lee is a long-time associate of New York City-based Transport Group Theatre Company and has designed their off-Broadway productions of A Delicate BalanceTrial of the Catonsville NineSummer and Smoke (Henry-Hewes Design Award nomination for Lighting Design), Once Upon a MattressThree Days to SeeI Remember Mama (Henry-Hewes Design Award nomination for Lighting Design), Almost MaineQueen of the Mist (Henry-Hewes Design Award nomination for Lighting Design), Hello AgainSee Rock City (Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design), Being AudreyBury the Dead (Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design) Marcy in the GalaxyCrossing BrooklynDark at the Top of the StairsAll the Way HomeCul-de-sacNormalThe Audience (Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design), First Lady SuiteRequiem for William, and Our Town.

During Lee’s twenty year association with Transport Group the company has garnered dozens of awards and nominations including a 2018 New York Drama Critic’s Circle citation for its body of work, a 2007 special Drama Desk Award for its breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions, and a 2007 Obie Award Grant for it’s continuing excellence in the New York theatre scene. Their productions of Summer and SmokeAlmost MaineQueen of the MistBury the Dead, and First Lady Suite were filmed for inclusion in The New York Performing Arts Library’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive located at Lincoln Center.

Other lighting designs for Transport Group and related artists include: Benny and Joon at The Old Globe in 2017 and Paper Mill Playhouse in 2019; A revival of Transport Group’s 2014 I Remember Mama at Two River Theatre in 2016; And Away We Go, a new commission by Terrence McNally, at The Pearl (off-Broadway) in 2013; Down the Road (off-off Broadway); VioletThe Young Man from AtlantaShe Loves Me, and Carousel at Barksdale Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; A Streetcar Named Desire (Special Recognition Winner USITT Design Expo 1998) for The Gretna Theatre in Pennsylvania; and The Illusion for The Nevada Theatre Company in Las Vegas.

Lee’s designs for The Philadelphia Theatre Company include The Light in the Piazza, (Barrymore Award for Outstanding Lighting Design) and The Outgoing Tide (Barrymore Award Nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design).

Lee has designed for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival including productions of  Winter’s TaleRomeo and JulietThe Comedy of ErrorsA Midsummer Night’s DreamScapinPericlesJulius CaesarTaming of the ShrewTitus Andronicus, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).

Lee’s Chicago area lighting design credits include: Pegasus Players’ The Secret Garden (Joseph Jefferson Citation for Lighting Design), Once on This Island (Joseph Jefferson Citation Recommended for Lighting Design), and Assassins (Joseph Jefferson Citation for Best Production); Piven Theatre’s Mud at Victory Gardens Theater; Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre’s Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music; as well as designs for Mary-Arrchie Theatre, Light Opera Works, and Parallax.

Lee has designed lighting for national tours of The Secret GardenOnce on This IslandFive Guys Named Moe, and A Grand Night for Singing for Big League Theatricals, New York; and was associate lighting designer for the world premier musical Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Lee designs regularly for Virginia Theatre Festival at the University of Virginia and for The School of Theatre and Dance and JMU Opera Theatre at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

From 1998-2002 Lee was resident lighting designer for Operafestival di Roma/Operestate in Rome, Italy where he designed productions of The Magic FluteThe Barber of SevilleDon GiovanniThe Merry Widow, and Così fan tutte.

As an assistant lighting designer Lee has worked at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., The Lyric Opera of Chicago; Ballet Chicago; Networks Tours; Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, Illinois; and was resident assistant at Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre for three years.

Lee is Professor of Lighting Design in the Department of Drama at the University of Virginia where he heads the MFA Lighting Design Program. He has a Master of Fine Arts in Stage Design from Northwestern University and is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.