DCTA 2022 Staff Favorites: Outstanding Creative Components (Professional)

These designers, directors, and playwrights made an indelible impression on our writers this year. Did we overlook a favorite of yours? Let us know in a comment!

As 2022 drew to a close, we asked DCTA writers to think back on the shows that left an indelible impression on them as theaters reopened this year. In this category, Outstanding Creative Components (Professional), we recognize:

  • Designers (including set, sound, lighting, and costume)
  • Directors (including choreographers and music directors)
  • Playwrights


Annapolis Opera, La Boheme
Julia Noulin-Mérat, set design

Arena Stage, Drumfolk
Erik Teague, puppet design

Classic Theatre of Maryland, White Christmas
Molly McCloskey, choreography

Folger Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Tony Cisek, production design
Oliviera Gajic, costume design
Jim Hunter, festival stage design
Yael Lubetzky, lighting design

The cast of Folger Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ inside the Great Hall of the National Building Museum. Photo by Brittany Diliberto.

IN Series, Desdemona
Maya Freelon, art installation
Janelle Gill, music director

IN Series, The Nightsong of Orpheus
Paul Callahan and Deb Sivigny, design
Kitazawa Hideta, mask design
Timothy Nelson, music direction

IN Series, Requiem
Lawrence Molten III, Abigail Hoke-Brady, and Donna Breslin, design
Timothy Nelson, music direction

Monumental Theatre Company, Tick, Tick… BOOM!
Yaritza Pacheco and Michael Windsor, set design

Mosaic Theater, Dear Mapel
Kelly Colburn, projection design
Nick “tha 1da” Hernandez, sound design
JabariDC, musician
Natsu Onoda Power, production designer
Alberto Segarra, lighting design

Mosaic Theater, Private
Luciana Stecconi, scenic design

Mosaic Theater, The Till Trilogy
Kwamina “Binnie” Biney, sound design
Andrew Cohen, scenic design
Mona Kasra, projection design
Danielle Preston, costume design
Alberto Segarra, lighting design

Nu Sass Productions, Twigs & Bone
Charles Lasky and Neil McFadden, sound design
Helen Garcia-Alton, lighting design

Olney Theatre Center, A.D. 16
Bobby McCoy, music direction

Olney Theatre Center, Dance Nation
Kenny Neal, sound design

Round House Theatre, We Declare You a Terrorist
Amith Chandrashaker, lighting design
Jared Mezzocchi, multimedia design
Naysan Mojgani, dramaturg and producer of New Play Festival

Round House Theatre, Nollywood Dreams
Kelly Colburn, projection design
Brandee Mathies, costume design
Jonathan Dahm Robertson, scenic design

Round House Theatre, The Tempest
Pilobolus (Matt Kent and Renee Jaworski), choreography

Shakespeare Theatre Company, Our Town
Wilson Chin, scenic design

Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Michael Bodeen and Miriam Sturm, original music
Maura Blumenfeld, costume design
Scott Bradley, set design

Signature Theatre, Into the Woods
John Kalbfleisch, music direction
David Israel Reynoso, costume design
Lee Savage, set design
Amanda Zieve, lighting design

The cast of ‘Into the Woods.’ Photo by Daniel Rader.

Spooky Action Theater, Man Covets Bird
Zavier Augustus, Patrick W. Lord, and Lee Taylor, projections
Brandon Cook, Emily Erickson, and navi, sound and music design
Hailey LaRoe, lighting design
Danielle Preston, costume design

Strathmore, The Parable of the Sower (with Woolly Mammoth)
Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, creators
Millicent Johnnie, choreography

Studio Theatre, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Amith Chandrashaker, lighting design

Studio Theatre, People, Places & Things
Debra Booth, set design
Andrew Cissna, lighting design
Lindsay Jones, original music and sound design
Alex Basco Koch, projections/media

The Kennedy Center, Mean Girls
Kenneth Posner, lighting design
Finn Ross and Adam Young, video design

Toby’s Dinner Theatre, The Spongebob Musical
Flo Arnold, costume design

Synetic Theatre, The Servant of Two Masters
Brian Allard, lighting design
Emily Carbone, props design
Konstantine Lortkipanidze, resident composer
Maryam Najafzada, choreography
Yaritza Pacheco, sound desig
Aleksandr Shiraev, costume design


Arin Arbus for The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare Theatre

Sivan Battat for Heroes of the Fourth Turning at Studio Theatre

Steven Carpenter for Major Barbara at Washington Stage Guild

Jade King Carroll for Red Velvet at Shakespeare Theatre

Rex Daugherty for Maz and Bricks at Solas Nua

Jonathan Feuer as Bricks and Emily Kester as Maz in ‘Maz and Bricks.’ Photo by DJ Corey Photography.

Hershey Felder, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, Theater J

Shanara Gabrielle for Man Covets Bird at Spooky Action Theater

Shanara Gabrielle for The Playboy of the Western World at Solas Nua

Matthew Gardiner for Into the Woods (direction and choreography) at Signature Theatre

Simon Godwin for Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Signe V. Harriday and Eric Ting for Parable of the Sower at Strathmore with Woolly Mammoth

Timothy Nelson for Requiem, Night Song of Orpheus, Othello/Desdemona at IN Series

Alan Paul for Our Town at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Natsu Onoda Power for Dear Mapel at Mosaic Theater

Aaron Posner and Teller for The Tempest at Round House/Folger

Center: Ryan Sellers and Hassiem Muhammad as Caliban with the cast of ‘The Tempest’ at Round House Theatre. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Karin Rosnizeck for Einstein’s Wife at Expats Theatre

Molly Smith for My Body No Choice at Arena Stage

Vato Tsikuvirishli for The Servant of Two Masters at Synetic Theatre

Craig Wallace, Sheboygan, Capital Fringe

Talvin Wilks for The Till Trilogy at Mosaic Theater

Mary Zimmerman for The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at Shakespeare Theatre Company


Keith Alessi, Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me, but Banjos Saved My Life, Logan Festival of Solo Performance, 1st Stage

Will Arbery, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Studio Theatre

Sophia Lillis (Emily), Gregory Connors (Justin), Laura C. Harris (Teresa), and Louis Reyes McWilliams (Kevin) in ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning.’ Photo: Margot Schulman.

Hend Ayoub, Home?, Voices Festival Productions

Louis Bayard, Sheboygan, Capital Fringe

Ifa Bayeza, The Till Trilogy, Mosaic Theater

Kimberly Belflower, John Proctor Is the Villain, Studio Theatre

Jocelyn Bioh, Nollywood Dreams, Round House Theatre

Iyona Blake, Girls of Madison Street, Creative Cauldron

Lee Cataluna, Fatima Dyfan, Lisa Loomer, Dael Orlandersmith, Sarah Ruhl, V (formerly Eve Ensler), and Anonymous, My Body No Choice, Arena Stage

Jordan E. Cooper, Ain’t No Mo’, Woolly Mammoth

Lisa Stephen Friday, Trans Am, The Keegan Theatre

Jenna Hall and Justine Hipsky, Motherload, Capital Fringe

Luigi Laraia, September 11, 1973: The Day Salvador Allende Died, Capital Fringe

Paola Lázaro, There’s Alway the Hudson, Woolly Mammoth Theatre

Justin Weaks as T and Paola Lázaro as Lola in ‘There’s Always the Hudson.’ Photo by Teresa Castracane Photography.

Suzan Lori Parks, White Noise, Studio Theatre

Martyna Majok, Sanctuary City, Arena Stage

Cinco Paul, composer, A.D. 16, Olney Theatre

Mona Pirnot, Private, Mosaic Theater

Psalmayene 24, Dear Mapel, Mosaic Theater


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