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Matthew Saunders

Associate Professor



  2. Phone: (610) 328-8247

Matt Saunders is a scenic designer, and a creator of new performance work based in Philadelphia. Mr. Saunders is a founding member, and Associate Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-Winning, experimental theater company, New Paradise Laboratories. He has been involved in the creation of NPL’s work through both scenic design and performance for over 20 years. This work has included The Fab 4 Reach the Pearly Gates, performed at P.S. 122 in NYC as well as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Prom, a co-production with the Tony Award-Winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis and BATCH, at the 2007 Humana Festival for New American Plays at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Matt’s design for NPL’s Fatebook, was selected for the United States’ professional pavilion at the prestigious Prague Quadrennial 2011. Outside of NPL, Saunders has designed over 150 works of performance. His designs for Theater, Opera and Dance have been seen at  Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Signature Theater, The Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, The Guthrie Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, The Wilma Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Pig Iron Theatre Company, and The Philadelphia Theater Company, among others. Mr. Saunders’ recent Off-Broadway work includes the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline at Lincoln Center, Venus by Suzan- Lori Parks at Signature Theatre, the world premiere of Futurity at Soho Rep and Ars Nova (with music by Cesar Alverez and the Lisps, directed by Sarah Benson), Good Person of Szechwan at the Public Theater (Directed by Lear deBessonet), The Tempest for the Public Theater at the Delacaorte (Directed by Lear deBessonet). Saunders’ recent designs for opera include: Janáček's Káťa Kabanová (Directed by Garry Hynes and Conducted by Anne Manson), as well as the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize winning, Angel’s Bone (Composed by Du Yun with libretto by Royce Vavrek). Mr. Saunders also designed the recent world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved, an opera based on the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, libretto by Marc Bemuthi Joseph, and Directed and Choreographed by Bill T Jones. Currently, Saunders is designing seven projects, including three world premiere devised works.  Mr. Saunders holds an MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama, is a 2015 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, and a 2014 Pew Fellow in the Arts.