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Join us for an artist talk with designers Deb O and scenographer Yuri Okahana-Benson. They will captivate you with stories about their incredibly unique artistic journeys and the evolution of fascinating projects. The conversation will be moderated by the co-curator of Scene Shift: The Exhibit, Sibyl Wickersheimer.


About the speakers:

Deb O’s extensive scenography training and range of experiences as well as her background in folk art, dance and gymnastics, clowning and mask making, and a bit of puppetry have all lent themselves to innovative approaches to the creation of unique theatrical events. Deb O has enjoyed intimate, long-term collaborations with theater directors Brian Mertes, Tamilla Woodard, Alex Harvey, Stephen Brackett, GT Upchurch, Lee Sunday Evans of C Town, Sarah Cameron Sunde, Mia Rovegno, Jess K Smith, Jen Wineman and dance theatre makers Dan Safer of Witness Relocation, Tami Stronach Dance, Sam Pinkleton, and Diane Vanderhei and Tom Thoreson of Footworks Dance Company. She has also designed numerous memorable special events.

With directors Brian Mertes and Melissa Kievman and The Lake Lucille Project, Deb O has devised and created large-scale, environmental designs for day-long performances of each of Chekhov’s great works. With playwright/producer Beau Willimon and directors Brian Mertes and Alex Harvey, the project moved to a giant warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for an epic environmental staging of Lanford Wilson’s Balm In Gilead.

She has designed several new works and new musicals. Such as The Lacy ProjectJihad the Musical, The Daughters, The Deepest Play Ever, F%#king Up Everything, Bubble Boy Magical History Tour, and The Material World (one of Time Out New York’s top 10 shows of 2012). She is currently in the rehearsal room helping to develop Light: A Dark Comedy, a project for The New Victory Theater.


Yuri Okahana-Benson is a Tokyo-born scenographer based in Los Angeles, CA. She has been working both nationally and internationally. Recent theatrical design credit includes; HUNGRY GHOST at the Skylight Theater, Exit Wound at ICT, Thom Pain, based on nothing at The Garage Theater, SMILE at IAMA Theater Company, CARRIE, the musical at Saddleback College, and many more. Currently she is also working with Experience Design and Production program at California Institute of the Arts as a scenic design special faculty. MFA in Scenic Design from CSULB.

More info available at and IG @11URI30



About the Exhibition:
Scene Shift: The Exhibit is a chance for the audience to get up close and personal with the work of contemporary scenic designers. Every designer has a different story to tell, sometimes that story is translated into art, and sometimes it is theatre. On view from February 2, 2024 through April 6, 2024.

Inspired by the book, Scene Shift: US Set Designers in Conversation, the exhibition will feature work by Abigail DeVille, Regina Garcia, Marsha Ginsberg, Shing Yin Khor, Mimi Lien, Collette Pollard, and Deb O among others.


This exhibition is curated by Maureen Weiss and Sibyl Wickersheimer.


Individuals with disabilities who need accommodations to attend this event may contact Maria Galicia at (213)740-5549, It is requested that individuals requiring accommodations or auxiliary aids such as sign language interpreters and alternative format materials notify us at least 10 days before the event. Every reasonable effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations in an effective and timely manner.



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