Richard Pilbrow

Richard Pilbrow, Founder of Theatre Projects in 1957, is one of the world's leading theatre design consultants, a theatre, film and television producer, an author and stage lighting designer.

Under his leadership, Theatre Projects has become the pre-eminent theatre consulting organization in the world, with over 1200 projects in 80 countries to its credit. Pilbrow was chosen by Laurence Olivier to be theatre consultant to the National Theatre of Great Britain. He was also consultant to the RSC’s Barbican Theatre; The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and many other arts buildings in North America, Europe, Hong Kong, China, and the Middle East.

Richard was a pioneer of modern stage lighting in Britain. He was the first British lighting designer for a Broadway musical, Zorba. On Broadway he lit Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Rothchilds, and Four Baboons Adoring The Sun (1993 Tony Award nomination). He was the lighting designer of the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat on Broadway (Drama Desk Award, Outer Circle Critics Award-lighting), in Toronto (Dora Award - Outstanding Lighting) and on tour throughout the US (NAACP Award for Lighting); and the Cy Coleman musical The Life, (Tony Award nomination.) He was lighting designer for Our Town with Paul Newman on Broadway and for high-definition video for PBS; Sir Peter Hall's The Magic Flute, Los Angeles, Seattle & Washington Opera and the 1999 Shakespeare Season at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In 2007-11 Richard was lighting designer (with Dawn Chiang) for American Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera and on tour, and A Tale of Two Cities at the Hirschfeld Theatre (2008 Drama Desk Award nomination.)

As a theatrical producer, his partnership with Hal Prince included the West End productions of: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, and A Little Night Music. He has also the producer of many other British productions. He was producer of the feature film of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, the TV series All You Need is Love—the Story of Popular Music and, with the BBC, Swallows and Amazons Forever.

Published in 1970, his book, STAGE LIGHTING, foreword by Lord Olivier, became a standard international text that has also been published in China. A second book, STAGE LIGHTING DESIGN, THE ART, THE CRAFT, THE LIFE, foreword by Hal Prince, was published in 1997. In 2003 Mr. Pilbrow co-authored (with Patricia MacKay) THE WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL — THE BACKSTAGE STORY. A THEATRE PROJECT - A Backstage Story was published in 2011.

In 2005 Richard was honored as Lighting Designer of the Year by Lighting Dimensions magazine. In December 2005 in the premier edition of LiveDesign he was named as one of the ten visionaries among designers and artists, who were the most influential people in the world of visual design for live events. In 2010 LiveDesign voted Richard “one of the 50 most powerful people in the entertainment technology industry.”

In 1982, Richard received an award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) for "His many years contribution to the art of lighting, as designer, entrepreneur and consultant in both England and America," and a Distinguished Life Time Achievement Award from the USITT in 1999. In 2000 he also received from the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) their annual Technician of the Year award. He served as Director-at-Large on the USITT Board from 2000-2006, and was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 2001 for “His truly astounding contribution to the theatre and the work of the Institute.” Richard was recipient of the 2008 Wally Russell Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2011, Richard was honored with the 4th Knights of Illumination Lifetime Recognition Award. In 2012 the Southeastern Theatre Conference awarded him their 2012 Annual Lifetime Career Award. In 2012 Richard was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. or

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