CCM alumna Cameron Anderson is certainly making a name for herself in the design world today. Anderson, who received her MFA in Scenic Design from CCM in 2002, has since designed for over 50 productions spanning dance, opera, theatre and other concerts. Her work has graced the stage in productions by Roundabout Theater, San Francisco Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, to name but a few.
Her latest project, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with South Coast Repertory, earned her a feature article in the L.A. Times, which can be found here. Her imaginative set designs have not only fostered her career, but earned her great reviews as well. Anderson’s work has been described as “completely enchanting” by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “a delight” by Variety and “eye-catching” by the New York Times. Thomas Umfrid, CCM professor of theatre design and production and senior resident designer, sees the trajectory of Anderson’s career. “She’s a rising star,” he argues.
With her upcoming schedule, no one could argue with Umfrid. Anderson will soon be designing Gianni Schicchi, Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Seven Deadly Sins at Central City Opera, West Side Story at Vancouver Opera, West Side Story at the Kilden Performing Arts Center and Norwegian Opera in Norway and Simon Boccanegra at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition, her work will soon be seen in Cincinnati for two performances of The Screwtape Letters at the Aronoff on April 9 (4 & 8 p.m.).
Anderson’s unique approach to design dictates her final product. “I strive to approach each story and project with the goal of telling the visual story of the work — creating the visual psychological landscape of the story,” Anderson explains. One of Anderson’s favorite designs to date was a production of Maria Padilla with Minnesota Opera. “I felt that it was visually very striking and had a very complete visual emotional arc. It was abstract but still connected to a period and place.”
Her studies at CCM gave her the forum to practice and enhance her craft. “The set design program at CCM was great for me because of its emphasis on designing shows that are actually produced. I spent some time on portfolio projects, but I was also able to create shows on a large scale and work in state of the art theaters.” Her designs, which are self-described as “abstract and sculptural,” were fostered by her practical experience at CCM. “I knew how to think about space and story, and I needed the chance to test my ideas and take risks.”