Steve Woods


Professor, Head of Design





Steve Woods serves as professor and head of the M.F.A. stage design program for Meadows School of the Arts.

Woods began his career at the Barter Theater of Virginia. Since then he has enjoyed international success at the Festival Blues Sur Scene and Festival L’Imaginaire in Paris, as well as productions in Berlin, Moscow, London, Athens, Taipei, Budapest, the XIX Winter Olympics and dozens of other locations around the world. Design credits include work with the José Limón Dance Company; Compania Nacional de Danza (Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City), for which he designed sets and lighting for Esquina Bajan and El Pajaro de Fuego; and design for the John Cranko ballets Eugene Onegin and Romeo and Juliet. Additional work in Europe includes design for Introdans in the Netherlands; Joost Vrouenraets’ The Rite of Spring; and the musical Blind Lemon Blues, performed in Switzerland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

A frequent designer for the José Limón Dance Company, Woods began work with the company in 1988 and has continued to design many of the Limón masterworks including There Is a Time, The Moor's Pavane, Traitor, Missa Brevis, The Winged and others. When the company was invited to perform at The White House, he was there to light both The Moor's Pavane and A Choreographic Offering. Woods has designed works for Alwin Nikolois, Martha Graham, Donald McKayle, Garth Fagan, Phyllis Lamhut, Carlos Ort, and Daniel Nagrin, among others. His work with Theatre for a New Audience earned a Lucille Lortel Award for the production of Henry V. Other projects Off-Broadway include Documentary Arts’ Blind Lemon Blues and Neil Young's Greendale.

In New York City, Woods’ work has been seen at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, Theater for a New Audience, Riverside Church, Ohio Theater, York Theater Company, Joyce Theater, Ice Factory Festival, Soho Think Tank, Central Park Summer Stage, Guggenheim Museum, Masters of American Dance and St. Mark's Theater. Elsewhere his designs have been seen at The Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.), Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, Mass.), Undermain Theater (Dallas), American Dance Festival (Durham, N.C.), Cumberland County Playhouse (Crossville, Tenn.), Dallas Theater Center, Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas), Music Center-Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, Shakespeare Festival of New Jersey, TheatreVirginia (Richmond), Heritage Repertory Theater (Charlottesville, Va.), Utah Festival Opera (Logan), and the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, S.C.).

Woods is co-founder of the podcast LightTalk, a weekly roundtable discussion of all things design.


M.F.A. Lighting Design, University of New Orleans
M.A Theatre, Austin Peay University
B.A. Theatre, University of Tennessee

Course list

M.F.A. Stage Design 
Business Aspects 
Steve Woods