Arthur Oliver is a freelance costume designer with extensive experience in all areas of the performing arts. Arthur has both instructed and guest designed for major universities and colleges, as well as created spectacle for companies such as Shakespeare & Company, Mabou Mines, The Virginia Arts Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Moscow Ballet, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Colonial Theatre, Off Broadway at 59E59 Theatres and on Broadway for BC/EFA Broadway Bares at the Roseland Ballroom. Arthur has experience in television (PBS and ESPN) and has worked with entertainers such as Raquel Welch, Olympia Dukakis, Alicia Silverstone, Keanu Reeves, Liza Minnelli, Kerry Butler, Diedre Goodwin, Tom McGowan and James Patrick Stuart, among others. View Arthur's full resume below.
"My designs are created through an intense study of the text. I listen to the actors and combine that with my knowledge of history and textual information. It has been said by many actors that I helped provide them with their character through my designs."
Proficient in design for the performing arts, Mr. Oliver has contributed his talents to Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, opera, ballet, short film, television and academe. His work has been praised by critics Ben Brantley of the New York Times and Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal, as well as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald.
He has taught at Harvard University, NYU/Tisch, The Boston Conservatory, Trinity College and many flagship universities including Louisiana State University.
His body of work includes, but is not limited to:
International: The Moscow Ballet, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tropicana Film Festival (Sydney, AU), The Stratford Festival of Ontario
NYC/Broadway/Off-Broadway: The New Victory, 59E59 theatres, The Roseland Ballroom, Laurie Beechman, Bronx Opera, The Century Club, Kings Theatre, Hammerstein Ballroom, 54 Below
Regional theatre and opera: American Repertory Theatre (ART), The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Children's Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Chester Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory, The Atlanta Opera, Connecticut Opera, Bardavon Opera, Tanglewood, Virginia Arts Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Television/Film: It Could be Worse, PBS (Evening at POPS), ESPN and numerous short films
Most recently Mr Oliver designed for Academy Award Winner, Olympia Dukakis, in her performance of the iconic Mother Courage and Her Children. He has also worked and designed for Christopher Ashley, Karen Allen, Claudia Weill, Claire Bloom, James Taylor, Debra Jo Rupp, Keanu Reeves, Raquel Welch, Carly Simon, Liza Minnelli, Alicia Silverstone, Marge Champion and the late Maureen Stapleton.
In the sphere of Broadway, his work includes many productions for two-time TONY winner Jerry Mitchell via their collaboration with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, two-time TONY nominee Alison Fraser, Capathia Jenkins, Chip Zien, Ned Eisenberg, John Douglas Thompson, Kerry Butler, Diedre Goodwin, Gary Halvorson, Gabriel Barre.
He has been published seven times, most notably in Imagining Shakespeare, Backstage Pass: 18 Years of Broadway Bares, Shakespeare Festivals around the World and Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies by Harold Bloom.
For the past five years, each November his production of The Great Russian Nutcracker tours North America via two touring companies. This year a third tour of the ballet will be added.
AWARDS & SPECIAL HONORS
2011: Best of the Berkshires, As You Like It
2010: Best of 2010, The Wall Street Journal
2008: Guest Panelist, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, “An Evening with Jane Austen”
2007: Best of the Berkshires Costume design for The Mercy of a Storm, Chester Theatre
Guest of Honor, An Evening of French Fashion, The Century Club, New York, NY.
This evening celebrated French fashion with an introduction by Kitty Benton (Docent, Metropolitan
Museum of Art Costume Institute) for two films: a documentary on Armani by Federico Fellini and a short
on French designers by Ruben Toledo. Other guests of honor included fashion designer Isabel Toledo
(Anne Klein, First Lady Michelle Obama) and Dr. Valerie Steele (Director: Museum at F.I.T.).
Featured Designer, In Stitches, The Berkshire Fringe Festival
A ten year retrospective of costume designs and costumes designed by Arthur Oliver featured in a
Exhibit of Renderings at Stage&Story Gallery, Stockbridge, MA
This showing featured designers Gregg Barnes, Zack Brown, Alvin Colt, Allen Moyer, David Murin,
Carrie Robbins, Carl Sprague, Ed Wittstein and Anita Yavitch.
2006: Best of the Berkshires Honorable Mention The Merry Wives of Windsor
2004: Best of the Berkshires Honorable Mention The Comedy of Errors
2010: Imagining Shakespeare, Published by S2 Publishing
2008: Backstage Pass: 18 Years of Broadway Bares by Jerry Mitchell
Published by Random House and Universal Press
2006: Inside The Berkshires: Sixteen Journeys by David J. McLaughlin
Featured photo: The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2006, designed by Arthur Oliver
2005: The Modern Scholar: Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies by Harold Bloom
Featured photo: King Lear, designed by Arthur Oliver
2004: Shakespeare Festivals Around the World, Edited by Marcus D. Gregio.
Cover (front and back) photos: The Tempest; inside photos King Lear, designed by
Arthur Oliver. Inside feature story on Arthur Oliver
2001: The Applause Shakespeare Library: Romeo and Juliet, cover shot designed by Arthur Oliver,
edited with theatre commentary by John Russell Brown