The Umfrid Studio is devoted to the art and practice of theatre making. We strive to design the perfect moment, to illuminate and support the text, score, choreography and the director’s concept.
Principal designer Thomas Umfrid is an impassioned believer and practitioner in the symbiotic necessity of theatrical performance. He embraces a multi faceted and broad based approach to theatrical design ever mindful of the overarching theatrical moment, supportive of the directorial concept and needs of the performer.
"Tom is a wonderful designer/collaborator. He responds to scripts with great insight and imagination and creates exceptional environments, in a wide range of styles. He's a true artist, and the proof is onstage in his designs." — R. Terrell Finney, Director
"Mr. Umfrid did exemplary work in all areas: research, conceptualization, rendering, adaptation to directorial requests and financial restrictions. It has been rare that I’ve worked with someone as talented, flexible, and realistic. The final transfer from model to actual stage was exceptionally precise and beautiful." — James de Blasis, Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera
The Umfrid Studio does not strive for any particular style, house or signature look and approaches each design project as a unique theatrical expression. We venture to be chameleons, adapting our design response and methodology according to the situation and task at hand.
First comes the analysis of the project followed by a free-flow of ideas between the director and the design team concurrent with research, be it literary, imagistic, media based, or experiential. We seek to find the thematic essence and the resonance in the script and the score. The kinetic needs of a show are examined. How does the show move? Design development follows with 2D and 3D experimentation, followed by reduction, refinement and documentation in collaboration with technical input and pragmatic problem solving, making the intangible truly tangible.
All the Scenic Designs in this website are the original creations of Thomas C. Umfrid. He is grateful for the input and assistance of his many collaborators.
My thanks and appreciation to all of the Directors, Lighting, Media and Costume Designers, Technical Directors, Prop Masters, Scenic Artists, Construction Personnel, Design Associates and Assistants, and Photographers I have collaborated with through the decades.