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WSD2017|The Hypocrites' Pirates of Penzance
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Professional Designers

United States of America

Tom Burch

The Hypocrites' Pirates of Penzance

Selected Category: Space Design

Category: Space Design

Design Statement

In this contemporary promenade-theatre reinterpretation of the classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, the audience and the cast weave through an immersive environment that is filled with a sea of beachballs and wading pools filled with rubber ducks. The classic soaring score is re-orchestrated for folk/alt-rock instruments (banjo, mandolin, ukulele, guitars, musical saw, clarinet, flute and violin) played by the actors as they act and sing, giving the performance the atmosphere of a millennial retro-folk-rock beach party. A pier, lined with tiki torches, a bar serving drinks throughout the show, and even a lifeguard stand dot the landscape, to allow cast and audience to watch and participate from different vantage points. Costumes simultaneously evoke both Victorian excess and American 1950 s vintage beachwear.
This production has since been mounted at Actors Theatre of Louisville (2014), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2015) and Olney Theatre Center (2016). Each time, reinterpreting the architecture of the existing theatre space into an environment that is conducive to the party-like world of this production.


Tom Burch

Tom is presently based in Charlotte, NC, USA, where he teaches stage design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He often collaborates with Chicago-based company, The Hypocrites, for whom he has designed sets for No Exit, All Our Tragic, Woyzeck, These Seven Sicknesses, Frankenstein (co production with Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), as well as many of the iterations of the Gilbert and Sullivan adaptations (Pirates of Penzance, Mikado and HMS Pinafore). These shows have traveled the country from Olney Theatre (Maryland), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Kentucky), American Repertory Theatre (Boston), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (San Francisco). Other credits include the off-Broadway (NYC) production of Mistakes Were Made (Barrow Street Theatre), and regional work at many theatre companies from Phoenix to Boston. He's the recipient of 5 Jeff Award nominations, 1 win (for his design work in the Chicago area.) His work can be seen online at www.tomburch.com

Email Address: tom.burch.design@gmail.com

Theatre Company American Repertory Theatre

The Premiere Date of Production 2013-05-10

The Premiere Space of Production Loeb Theatre

Author Gilbert and Sullivan, adapted by Sean Graney and Kevin O'Donnell

Director/ Choreographer Sean Graney

Set Designer Tom Burch

Lighting Designer Jared Moore and Heather Gilbert

Costume Designer Alison Siple

Sound Designer Kevin O'Donnell