2010 Honorary Fellow
Richard Pilbrow, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Theatre Projects Consultants, is one of the world’s leading theatre design consultants, a theatre, film and television producer, an author, and stage lighting designer. He founded Theatre Projects in London in 1957.
Under his leadership, Theatre Projects has become the pre-eminent theatre consulting organization in the world, with over 1000 projects in 80 countries to its credit Pilbrow was chosen by Laurence Olivier to be lighting designer and then theatre consultant to the National Theatre of Great Britain. He was also consultant to the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Theatre; and many other significant arts buildings in North America, Europe, China, and the Middle East.
Pilbrow was a pioneer of modern stage lighting in Britain. On New York’s Broadway he was lighting designer for numerous productions including the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat and Our Town with Paul Newman. Also in the USA Pilbrow lit Sir Peter Hall’s The Magic Flute, for the Los Angeles, Seattle & Washington Opera.
As a theatrical producer, his long partnership with Hal Prince included the West End production of such Broadway hits as: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, and A Little Night Music. He was producer of the feature film of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, and the TV series All You Need is Love – the Story of Popular Music and, with the BBC, Swallows and Amazons Forever.
Published in 1970, his book, Stage Lighting, with foreword by Lord Olivier, became a standard international text that has also been published in China. A second book, Stage Lighting Design, The Art, The Craft, The Life, with foreword by Hal Prince, was published in 1997. His autobiography, A Theatre Project, will be published this year.
In 2005 Pilbrow was honored as Lighting Designer of the Year by Lighting Dimensions magazine. In December 2005 LiveDesign named him as one of the ten visionaries among designers and artists, ‘who were the most influential people in the world of visual design for live events.’
In 1982, Pilbrow received an award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) for ‘his many years contribution to the art of lighting, as designer, entrepreneur and consultant in both England and America,’ and a Distinguished Life Time Achievement Award from the USITT in 1999. In 2000 he also received from the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) their annual Technician of the Year award. He served as Director-at-Large on the USITT Board from 2000-2006, and was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 2001 for ‘His truly astounding contribution to the theatre and the work of the Institute’.
In April last year, Pilbrow visited the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts conducting a series of master classes and workshops to Theatre & Entertainment Arts students, and presented an open public seminar, Light on Theatre to a capacity audience.