The Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre’s Artistic Director Tony Estrella makes the point that the set designer’s work is the first thing the audience sees when they walk into the theatre, and that alone makes it of immense importance. The Rhode Island theater community, including the Gamm, has been graced with one of the finest set designers in the field, Michael McGarty, for many, many years.
McGarty’s work has been integral to productions at both Trinity Rep, where he has worked for 22 years and is resident set designer, and The Gamm since his first production there, Request Concert , in 1985. At that moment in time, The Gamm was called Alias Stage and was located at Riverside Mills in Olneyville.
But Rhode Island is just the tip of the iceberg for this talented artist. Michael has worked in theaters from Seattle to Dallas to Pittsburg. His sets have graced numerous stages including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Mark Taper Forum, and, yes, that holiest of theatrical grails, Broadway.
Michael has been on the Great White Way three times. Most famously, he was set designer for the Tony Award winning Master Class for its original 1995-1997 Broadway run. McGarty was also on Broadway with Julia Sweeney’s God Said “Ha’” in 1996 and Wait Until Dark in 1998.
Michael McGarty’s latest work is on display back at The Gamm. He has created the set design for Gamm’s production of Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara. Gamm’s intimate space provides a creative challenge for McGarty’s talents which he thoroughly enjoys. Local audiences can appreciate his work in the magnificently funny Skull in Connemara beginning February 25th at The Gamm.