Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is a theatre designer for theatre, opera, dance, music performances, and installation. As a designer, she aims to create a visual environment that is organically integrated into the landscape and language of the production. Her designs were described as “clever” and “inventive” (New York Times) and that it “contains the vibrant richness of a Caravaggio painted in neon.”
Her designs have been seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Rose Theater Jazz at Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), HERE Arts Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, La Mama ETC, The Kitchen, ArtsEmerson, Manhattan School of Music, Joyce SOHO, Bard Music Festival, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, and internationally at Havana, Prague, Lima, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Graz Austria, and Bloemfontein South Africa. Jeanette received the Bel Geddes Design Enhancement award for her lighting and projection design for Ludic Proxy. She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program and was the 2006 Gilbert Hemsley Jr. lighting internship.
Some of her recent designs and collaborations include: Mysterium Novum with The Nouveau Classical Project, The Idiot with Kristin Marting and Robert Lyons, Tan Dun’s Water Passion, Sam Falls’ September Spring, Aya Ogawa’ Ludic Proxy (Bel Geddes Design Enhancement award), Caborca’s Zoetrope (invitation to Encuentro 2014), Scarlet Ibis and Thumbprint (West coast premiere 2017) with Prototype, Company XIV’s Rococo Rogue and Nutcracker Rouge (both received various Drama Desk nominations), HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale with Alan Gilbert and Doug Fitch, Schubert’s Fierrabras with Leon Botstein, Gotham Opera’s Orientale, Jonathan Dawe’s Cosi Faran Tutti, Aaron Siegel’s (Experiments in Opera) Brother Brother, Matthew Paul Olmos’ So Go the Ghosts of Mexico Part One (Best Lighting Design nomination), Elizabeth Swados and Cecilia Rubino’s From the Fire (UK Musical Theatre Awards for Best New Production), Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant Returns in: The Mothership Landing (Best Lighting Design nomination), Julia Jarcho’s Nomads, Erik Ehn’s commemorative cycle Soulographie: Our Genocides, Andrea’s Thome’s Pinkolandia, Kara Lee Corthron’s AliceGraceAnon, Sheila Callaghan’s Roadkill Confidential (NYC premiere), Their Eyes Were Watching God with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, The Civilians’ Paris Commune and In the Footprint, Informed Consent with Liesl Tommy, NPR’s WATER +/- with Kenny Leon, The Foundry’s How Much is Enough, and Chromatic Presence (an interactive lighting installation with John Lennon’s white piano)
Through puppetry, Jeanette has created innovative and interactive performances. Her most recent production, Are They Edible? premiered at La MaMa to sold-out houses and it was called “bold” and “inventive.” Her toy theater production of The Butcher Men was invited to the 2006 Prague Quadrennial and her digital puppetry adaptation of the Book of Genesis, MILK, was part of the Labapalooza 2007 presented at St. Ann’s Warehouse (NYC). Aside from creating original works, she also performed in Paul Zaloom’s toy theater film, Dante’s Inferno and lighting designed and performed for The Saint Plays (a puppetry adaptation of five of Erik Ehn’s Saint Plays collection), lighting designed for many puppetry productions including Automata’s toy theater production of Frankenstein, The Little Fakers’ marionette serial drama The Sunset Chronicles, Torry Bend’s The Paper Hat Game (Best Production Design, Indy Week NC) and four productions from Erik Ehn’s commemorative cycle Soulographie: Our Genocides. Her shadow puppet design for The Dragon by Eugene Schwatz won her an award in Seattle, Washington. Jeanette has been also serving as the lighting director for Great Small Work’s International Toy Theater Festival since 2008. For her puppetry works, Jeanette has received support from the Jim Henson Foundation, the Urban Artist Initiative/NYC Fellowship, Artist Trust’s GAP program, Queens Council on the Arts’ Queens Arts Fund, the Puppeteers of America Rose Endowment Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Stony Brook UniversityJeanette currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and advises at Barnard College.