ABOUT LEE O BARKER

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My designs create an environment that best serves the director’s vision. My designs typically reflect a clean, but stylized realism. I am heavily influenced by the romanticism of opera design, and the theatricality of scale that is trending in contemporary opera productions. I appreciate minimalism in detail coupled with grandeur in size and symbolism.


Before exploring set design, my interests were split between Architecture and Mechanical Engineering, though neither fully balanced my creative needs and my mechanical skill. Set Design is the perfect merger of my loves of architecture, design, and engineering. I recently earned my MFA in Theatre - Design and Technology from UMKC. Now, back in Houston, I am working as a Scenic Designer most days, taking fabrication jobs and commissions to pay the bills. As a growing designer, I need the resources that a graduate program can offer me.


I take a lot of pride in my ability to bring my designs to fruition. In my first season as a professional designer, I built almost every show I designed by myself. I have since learned to give up the control that comes with building my own show. My background as a carpenter greatly influences my design style. I understand the logistics of building, including balancing aesthetic, time, and budget. I am also increasingly interested in sustainable carpentry and design practices.


I am a growing theatre artist and designer, seeking a new challenge. Each piece that I bring to life is a unique lesson that I carry with me into my next endeavor. I am a problem solver. I love addressing challenges without clear cut answers. I am a strong believer in the idea that theatre is a team sport, and that the success of the whole heavily relies on the open exchange of ideas and information. My favorite work comes from meaningful interdisciplinary collaboration.