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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

J. Michael Griggs


Selected Category: Set Design

Category: Set Design

Design Statement

In this version of George Orwell's 1984, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, the story begins after the arrest of Winston Smith by Big Brother. Details of his story are reenacted by the Party Members during his "trial" allowing the setting to be representative of a party interrogation center. I have imagined this location as the athletic facilities at a repurposed school. Scenic portions of the swimming pool, basketball court, and locker room are represented around the stage. Unlike some recent 1984 adaptations, this version focuses on the dramatic action and does not rely on technology like projection and video to tell the story. I have used this pre-digital technology approach to wrap the stage in audio speakers, lighting instruments, microphones, and propaganda posters. My world of Big Brother is represented as a place that can barely keep apace of the daily changing rules for behavior.

J. Michael Griggs

J. MICHAEL GRIGGS has been designing scenery across the United States for 30 years. With director Daniel Sullivan, he has designed the premieres for Long Lost by Donald Margulies at Illinois Theatre and Lost Lake by David Auburn at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Other recent designs include Phèdre at Trap Door Theatre in Chicago, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, School for Scandal for The Actor’s Shakespeare Project, The Effect, Fences, and Auld Lang Syne for Gloucester Stage Company, and 1984 for Illinois Theatre. Selected past designs include Romance, No Child, No Man’s Land, How I Learned to Drive, Boston Marriage, and others for American Repertory Theater; The Sanctuary Lamp, The Well of the Saints, The Lonesome West, St. Nicholas, and others for The Súgán Theatre Company; The Seafarer at SpeakEasy Stage Company, 9 Parts of Desire and Adrift in Macao for The Lyric Stage Company of Boston. As a designer for television he has designed for American and International clients. Mr. Griggs has taught at Carleton College, University of Maryland, Harvard University, and is presently the Chair of the Scene Design Program at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Email Address: jmgriggs2k@gmail.com

Theatre Company Illinois Theatre

The Premiere Date of Production 2015-10-15

The Premiere Space of Production Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Author George Orwell, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan

Director/ Choreographer Thomas Mitchell

Set Designer J. Michael Griggs

Lighting Designer Dani Deutschmann

Costume Designer Paul Kim

Sound Designer Tony Reimer