Michael Scott-Mitchell celebrates 35 shows at STC
NIDA congratulates Deputy Director/CEO and Head of Design, Michael Scott-Mitchell, who has just celebrated his 35th production for Sydney Theatre Company (STC) as set designer for Arcadia.
After studying architecture at the University of Sydney and a BDA (Design) at NIDA, Michael’s relationship with STC started early on with the then artistic director, Richard Wherrett inviting Michael to design a production shortly after graduation. This was the beginning of a fruitful mentoring/working relationship, eventuating in many successful collaborative productions and Michael’s long-standing association with Sydney’s premiere theatre company.
Michael has thoroughly enjoyed his long association with STC, who he regards as his theatrical home away from home. Commenting recently he said;
‘I am very thankful to Richard Wherrett and STC for introducing me to Sydney’s vibrant theatre world at such a young age – it has been a privilege to work with the company and the talented theatre practitioners it has supported over the years. The unique opportunity Richard and the company afforded me has had a huge impact on my career path and where I am today.'
Having had such an influential mentor so early on in his career, Michael developed an appreciation for the important role of guidance and support for emerging artists. This appreciation then led him into the education sector.
Michael has worked for several education institutions around Sydney, including the University of Sydney, the University of Technology and the Australian Film and Television School and for the last 20 years, Michael has worked at NIDA in a variety of positions including, Design Lecturer, Head of Design, Director, Undergraduate Studies and now, Deputy Director.
In addition to his contribution to NIDA, Michael has led a very successful artistic career, consistently working on a diverse range of design projects over the past 33 years. These include a huge 32 operas, 15 musicals, 2 ballets, 14 major event designs, 76 theatre productions, 3 films and 14 television shows, among other projects.
Key highlights of his career-to-date have been his role as founding director of design firm D4DESIGN – the firm behind the design for the multi award-winning Rockpool Restaurant and his set design for the first all-Australian production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, which received an unprecedented 11 Helpmann Awards in 2005 – including Best Set Design for Michael. Heavily involved in the 2000 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony, Michael designed the cauldron and the ceremonial stage, which were televised round the world. More recently, Michael worked on Broadway’s Doctor Zhivago, for which he received the 2015 Australian Production Design Guild Award for Set Design.
NIDA is very fortunate to have an artist and designer such as Michael, bringing real-world experience to the Masters and Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) as well as an extensive network of industry contacts both here in Australia and internationally.
Visit the Sydney Theatre Company Archives to see a beautiful selection of past work by Michael Scott-Mitchell through the years.
Photography by Maja Baska.