Meet Heidi Ettinger

Tony-Award Winning Set Designer

The Leading Women in the Arts series was launched at the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts in Spring 2006. This engaging program reflects the center's support of public presentations by scholars, artists, writers, and practitioners that engage the academic work of the college with the public sphere.

Invited guest artists are featured in public campus discussions about the interconnections between creative expression of all forms and cultural transformations.

The Secret Garden, directed by Susan Schulman, St. James Theatre 1991


Heidi Ettinger, under her married name Heidi Landesman, made theatrical history when she became the first woman ever awarded a Tony for her set design of the musical “Big River.” Her work for that show (for which she also received a Tony as co-producer and several other awards, including the Drama Desk and Outer Critcs Circle prizes) was followed by her third Tony as designer of “Secret Garden” and her fourth nomination for producer. In all, she has been nominated for seven Tonys, won an Obie for Sustained Excellence, and has a mantelful of other prizes and nominations.

Ms. Ettinger’s career on Broadway began with the design for the Pulitzer prize winning “‘Night Mother” by Marsha Norman and has continued without interruption (except for the birth of three sons) ever since. Among her favorite designs include the Michael Mayer production of “Triumph of Love,” the Jerry Zaks production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” the folk artistry of “Tom Sawyer,” an enormous abstract elevator for Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” in Berlin, the calamitous but beautiful “Red Shoes,” and a number of productions at The 2nd Stage, The Public, and several residential theatres. She also served as co-producer for the Sondheim/Lapine hit “Into the Woods.” Most recently, she designed the set for the new opera by Stephen Schwartz (composer and lyricist of “Wicked”), “Seance on a Wet Afternoon,” based on the film of the same title, which will be produced in the spring of 2011 by The New York City Opera Company.

She is a graduate of Occidental College and received her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama, on whose Board she now sits as Advisor. She is also a member of the Boards of the Municipal Arts Society and The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Her work was recently featured in the “Curtain Call” exhibit at The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

Event Details

Student Workshop for Directors and Designers
Wednesday, April 11, 4:00-6:00 pm
Rooke 104

Preregistration required. Email Erika Rundle to sign up.

Public Lecture and Slideshow by Heidi Ettinger
Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium
Free and open to the public.

Student Leadership Seminar

Thursday, April 12, 2012
12:15pm – 1:30 pm
Willits Hallowell Center

Students are invited to a luncheon seminar with Heidi Ettinger, highlighting the preparation, practice and work of leadership in the arts.

Preregistration required. Email Erika Rundle to sign up.