In the world of projection design, all roads lead to Wendall K. Harrington, the godmother of modern projection design…
–Live Design Magazine
Wendall K. Harrington’s career has embraced diverse disciplines including theatre, publishing and multi-image/video design and production. As a designer of scenic projections for the stage, her work has been seen on Broadway in ALL THE WAY, ANNIE, DRIVING MISS DAISY,GREY GARDENS, THE GOOD BODY, DROWNING CROW, THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, THE ELEPHANT MAN, MY ONE AND ONLY, THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, FOUR BABOONS ADORING THE SUN, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, HAVING OUR SAY, COMPANY, RACING DEMON, STEEL PIER, RAGTIME, FREAK, THE CAPEMAN, AMY’S VIEW, THE CIVIL WAR, PUTTING IT TOGETHER and VINCENT IN BRIXTON. In 1993, Ms. Harrington designed the projections for the award-winning THE WHO’S TOMMY on Broadway, which toured the U.S. in 1994, and has had productions in Toronto, London and Frankfurt, Germany.
Additional theatrical projection credits include OLD HATS, ANGELS IN AMERICA, at the Signature theatre AMY’S VIEW at the National in London; THE CIVIL WAR at the Alley and Broadway; PUTTING IT TOGETHER at the Mark Taper Forum and Broadway; GOLDEN CHILD at the Public Theater; HAPGOOD at Lincoln Center; TWELVE DREAMS at the Public Theatre, A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Paramount; MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (four times!)and the ill-fated WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND.
Projection design for opera includes WERTHER at the MET, Julie Taymor’s staging of THE MAGIC FLUTE in Florence, Italy, GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES, RUSALKA, NIXON IN CHINA, DIE TODT STADT, LA FANCIULLA, BRUNDIBAR,A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, GRAPES OF WRATH, THE JUNIPER TREE, MORNING STAR, THE PHOTOGRAPHER,TRANSATLANTIC, and ORPHEO AND EURIDICE as well as sets and projections for Ricky Ian Gordon’s RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY.
Projected images are ephemeral. They live in another dimension, and dance in a way that is like music and poetry.
–Wendall K. Harrington
Ballet designs include, Anna Karenina, Opera, Pictures at an Exhibition, Cinderella and The Firebird for Alexei RatmansKy, Ballet Mecanique for Doug Varone and Dancers, Othello for ABT, Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet and a new Don Quixote for the Joffrey,
Concert work includes SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE William Bolcom’s setting of the Blake Poems, The Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense” Tour, as well as tours for Simon & Garfunkel, Chris Rock and John Fogerty.
For her work in the theatre, Ms. Harrington is the recipient of the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the American Theatre Wing Award, the TCI Award for Technical Achievement, the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Projections and the Michael Merrit Award for Collaboration, Ruth Morely Design Award, USITT education award and Players Club Theatre person of the year
She directed and designed the world premier of Doug Cuomo’s opera Arjuna’s Dilemma, as well as Snapshots an evening of new String quartets and image.
She has written an adaptation of the Diary of Petr Ginz to serve as an introduction to Brundibar which has been presented by Opera Theatre of St Louis. and the Palm Beach Opera, and is currently adapting Virginia Woolf’s ORLANDO for the ballet
Projections are now a part of our theatrical language, but they live in a reality that is more rhythmic then real…
–Wendall K. Harrington
Ms. Harrington’s work in the multi-image/video field includes the 1991 Words on Fire. This half-hour program, which she produced for PBS affiliate KTCA and Alive From Off Center, features six artists exploring their ideas of fire. Included in the eclectic mix are the cosy fireside warmth of the Tennessee poet Jo Carson, the urbane wit of Chris Durang, an excerpt from Fred Curchack’s incendiary one-man rendition of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, a feverish monologue by Todd Alcott, and steamy sixteenth century erotic poetry seen through the filter of music and performance by Rinde Eckert.
During the mid-eighties, as design director of Esquire magazine, Ms. Harrington was responsible for the re-design and re-launch of the “Men’s Magazine of the 90’s.” Two years later, as editor-at-large for Esquire, she conceived and edited Randy Shilts’s “My Life on the AIDS Tour,” which was nominated for a National Magazine Award and published in Best American Essays of 1990.
In 1979 she founded Luminous Productions, Inc. where for six years she produced and directed multi-image and video projects for numerous corporate clients. “The Multi-Image Murders” and “Fifty Who Made the Difference” won several awards, including Gold Awards from IFPA, The Chicago Film Festival and the U.S. Industrial Film Festival.
Ms Harrington lectures widely on the art of Projection design and is the head of the MFA program in Projection Design at the Yale School of Drama.