Oct 6, 2020

La MaMa DesignFest

Created and Curated by Hao Bai

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DesignFest is an online theatre design festival to celebrate and support emerging theatre designers in the time of pandemic and beyond. The goal is to foster and realize new ideas and generate opportunities.

To watch the full episode of La MaMa DesignFest become a Patron on La MaMa’s Patreon!

Kat C. Zhou, the grand prize winner, will receive the opportunity to design a show in La MaMa’s 60th season.

Grand Prize Winner: Kat C. Zhou

Winner in Scenic: Carlo Maghirang
Winner in Costume: Stephanie Petagno
Winner in Lighting: Mary Shabatura
Winner in Projection: Cinthia Chen
Winner in Multidisciplinary: Yichen Zhou
Winner in Sound: Leonie Bell

2nd place in Costume : Zixin Ye
2nd place in Projection: Hyung Seok Jeon
2nd place in Scenic: Myra G. Reavis

Honorable mentions:

Honorable mention in Lighting : Namhla Blou
Honorable Mention in Projection : Devin Cameron
Honorable mention in Scenic: Kelly Hayes

Judging Committee:
Jiyoun Chang (Lighting), Mimi Lien (Scenic), Justin Hicks (Sound), Hao Bai (Projection), Gabriel Berry (Costume)

If you have questions please email at:


The winning participants from each design category will receive award recognition for their outstanding creation, and their work will be presented in La MaMa’s virtual gallery.

The winning participants from each design category will be invited to present their work in a live-streamed celebration on September 29th at 7pm. The event will be followed by a live-streamed discussion with the judges and the winning designers.

ONE OUTSTANDING DESIGNER will be chosen from all the winning participants to receive the opportunity to design a show in LaMama’s 60th season.

Headshot of Jiyoun Chang

Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Designer). Credits: Slave Play (Golden Theatre, NYTW, Drama Desk Nom), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (The Public), Anatomy of Suicide, Eddie and Dave (Atlantic Theatre Company), Sojourners, Her Portmanteau (NYTW), Marys Seacole, Plot Points in Our Sexual Development, brownsville song (LCT3), Something Clean, Too Heavy For Your Pocket, Ugly Lies The Bone (Roundabout), BAM, MCC, Signature, Guggenheim, Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, Guthrie, The Old Globe, OSF, Studio Theatre. Obie Award in special citation. MFA Yale School of Drama

Headshot of Mimi Lien

Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first stage designer ever to achieve this distinction. Mimi is a co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Selected projects include: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway, Tony Award); Fairview, An Octoroon (Soho Rep.); Die Zauberflote (Staatsoper Berlin), True West (Roundabout). She is a recipient of a Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Bessie Award, and an OBIE Award for sustained excellence. (Photo credit: Emma Pratte)

Headshot of Justin Hicks

Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer who uses music and sound to investigate identity and value. As a composer and performer, his work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Dixon Place, The Whitney Museum of American Art, \ and The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, among many others. Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Me’shell Ndegeocello, and Cauleen Smith. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage at The Public Theater. Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, and currently lives and works in The Bronx, NY.
(Photo credit: Maria Baranova-Suzuki)

Headshot of Hao Bai

Hao Bai is a multidisciplinary designer in lighting, sound, and video projection. Hao has worked with inspiring artists including Charlotte Braithwaite, Abigail DeVille, Ping Chong Company, The Talking Band, Mabou Mines, The Wooster Group, Loco7, The Builders Association, The Hawtplates, Pioneers Go East Collective, and New Stage Theatre. Hao is the resident visual audio designer at La Mama and has won IT Award in Outstanding Innovative Design. Hao’s work has been seen internationally at Asia Culture Center (South Korea), WuZhen Festival (China), and in New York at The Public Theatre, NYU Skirball, BAAD!, La MaMa, JACK, Bushwick Starr, Performance Space New York, New Stage Theatre, 59E59, A.R.T/New York Theatres, 14 Street Y, Stellar Adler, The Performing Garage, The Gallery Players, The Tank, etc.

Headshot of Gabriel Berry

Gabriel Berry designs costumes for theatre, dance and opera. Specializing in the creation of new work, she has designed premieres of the works of artists including John Adams, Samuel Beckett, Charles Ludlam, Caryl Churchill, Lucinda Childs, Christopher Durang, Ethyl Eichelberger, Richard Foreman, The Five Lesbian Brothers, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Lameece Isaaq, Nick Jones, Craig Lucas, Mabou Mines, Naomi Wallace, Kia Corthran, Will Power, Marcus Gardley, Scott Z. Burns, Meredith Monk, Chuck Mee, Tony Kushner, Peter Sellars, Phillip Glass, Harold Pinter, Reinaldo Povod, Tennessee Williams and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Notable honors include Obie, Bessie and Lucille Lortel awards and a silver medal from the Prague Quadrennial for her contribution to experimental theatre.

Online Happenings


Presented by La MaMa and CultureHub, La MaMa is exploring ways to respond creatively to a situation that is potentially changing how we gather as a community in our theatres. La MaMa is working with CultureHub to provide online streaming of select productions and events on Howlround Theatre Commons.

Special Event