Elizabeth Popiel Designs


About Us

Based in New York City, with studios in NY and Western CT, Liz Popiel and Co are ready to design, build and paint your creative ideas OR you can all upon us to create YOUR next big idea in the areas of Scenery or Prop Designs. See our "Photo Gallery" for representative portfolio.



CURRICULUM VITAE of Elizabeth Popiel

(Current: Fall 2013)


Studio Address: 4761 Broadway 6G, NYC, NY 10034  Tel: 917-374-1266

 Professional Training/Education:

MFA- State University of NY at Purchase, Design Technology: Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, Scenic Design concentration

BA -Rhode Island College: Double Major Theatre and Art/Studio

Attended: Rhode Island School of Design (architecture classes),  Memphis State University (grad-asst in scenic design, 1 year)Art Students League of NY (illustration. drawing, watercolor, sculpture), Parsons School of Design (MiniCAD 7)         



United Scenic Artists, Local 829, NYC IATSE [Scenic Design category/vested]

USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology)

CAA (College Art Association)

ATHE (Association of Theatre in Higher Education): paper presentation Toronto, 04)

Art Students League of NY

ATAC (Association of Theatrical Artists and Craftspeople)


Design and Teaching Credentials (Theatrical Design Resume on separate page)

 Professor/ Designer [FA 2001 - current, Tenured in ‘08, Full professor 2011]

Western Connecticut State University Danbury, CT

Department of Communication and Theatre Arts ’01-05, Dept. of Theatre Arts ’05-current

181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810

Past and present duties include: Teaching - Scenic Design, Costume and Make-Up, Interpersonal Communication (CTA), Theatre History, Design for Media, Introduction to Theatre, Scenic Art and Craft as well as Faculty Developed Study courses: Scenic Art and Craft, Decoration and Decor, Computer Graphics for Entertainment Technology, Puppetry. Non Teaching: Design of scenery for productions of: Sweeney ToddLysistrata, Spring AwakeningAliceFlea in Her Ear, City of Angels, Cemetery Club, Tempest, Cabaret, Romeo & Juliet: A Rock & Roll Love Story, As You Like It, Mystery of Edwin Drood, 12th Night: the 1960’s San Francisco Psychedelic Musical, The Distance From Here, Kiss Me Kate. Design of scenery and costumes for: Anything Goes. Costume Design for: Green BirdThe Tempest, The Cherry Orchard, The Full Monty, Nine and Hayfever. Supervise and manage costume shop for ALL departmental productions[2001 to 2011]. Supervision of student crews for props and paint for all mainstage shows, Assist in procurement of props and costumes for all productions including the One Acts and all miscellaneous student productions. Mentored and coached student set designer for: Full Monty, Hayfever, Meet Me In St Louis, Blue Window (NYS),  Heidi Chronicles (NYS), Will of Love (NYS). Ongoing student tours of ABC/TV Times Square Studio. On going projects include: Maintaining new costume shop in Higgins Hall, organizing of new Design Studio HA002, Armory storage “runs”, co-ordinating Computer Theatre Lab. Design supervision for our annual New York Showcase, May of each year. Supervised Design for Edinburgh Fringe Festival productions: Gilded Balloon/Teviot 2005 [Twelfth Night], 07 [Romeo and Juliet] and Edinburgh College of Art 2009 [Tempest]. Continued organization of Armory storage props and costumes to accommodate our growing collection in a more professional manner. Yearly trips with students to attend USITT annual conference [Minneapolis (’03), Long Beach (’04), Toronto (’05), Louisville (‘06), Phoenix (‘07), Houston (’08), Cincinnatti (’09), Kansas City (’10)]. Mentored students on trip to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Fringe Festival August of: 2005. 2007, 2009. Costume design supervision: Kiss Me Kate, Cabaret, R&J, 12th Night: the 1960’s San Francisco Psychedelic Musical, Flea in her Ear, Designed and Created Costumes and scenic elements for: Food: the 16 course musical for NY showcase and Edinburgh 2003.

Volunteer work includes: [performer] Student Directed One-Acts, [performer] Vagina Monologues, Senator: Faculty Senate [ 06-08[secretary],10-11,], Promotion and Tenure Committee: 2008-2010 and 2010-2012, Working Conditions Committee Chair 2005-06, Design/tech Guidance for CENTERSTAGE, Assisted local community theatres with props and costumes, General Ed Committee, Producer: CAMERA OBSCURA (Fall Student Orientation Director/producer), VOICES (WCSU and Edinburgh), READINGS: TWO ONE ACTS “Intercourse Under the Bed” for the MFA Writing Program, Costume Design for BANNED BOOKS readings 3 years [Walton/Director] [’01,’02,’03) , Child Care Cabaret (puppets), WCSU Day [in Hartford State Capitol (puppets)


Scenic Designer: ABC [Network] TV, 125 West End Ave., NYC,

(Ongoing Daily Hire 1994 to present)

Supervisor: Mr. Ken Crowell, Manager, ABC Production Services (212-456-5701)

Current (since Fall 2004): Set Designer for Good Morning America/Weekend Edition (5.5 years to date, since inception of the weekend program) and regular “fill in” designer for GMA Weekday (EMMY June 2007)

Past set designer projects for abc include: Set for weekly broadcast of  “20/20” [1996 to 2004], Freelance/Resident Sports Designer; scenic design projects since 1993. Projects include original set designs for Wide World of Sports weekly program 1997, WWOS 1998, World Cup Soccer (ABC Network), Art Direction of Commemorative video for 35th Anniversary of Wide World of Sports (Video Available), Production Designer for Monday Night Football (studio halftime show) for previous 4 years, Supervising scenic designer for College Football studio show. (4 years). Also covered: 20/20, Good Morning America, Prime Time Live and Assistant Design work for misc. projects including All My Children and special events (i.e.: OJ Simpson Trial]. (Video clips and still art available for many projects listed above. See portfolio)


Production Designer: ABC Daytime THE VIEW, TV 24 NYC, 10/97 to 3/98

BARWALL (Barbara Walters) Productions in conjunction with ABC/Disney.

Supervisor: Mr. Ken Crowell, Manager, ABC Production Services

Duties included: Advance set up for all musical guests* (video available) as well as Decoration (holidays, special events) and daily maintenance for existing loft set.  Supervision of procurement of new props, scenery and furniture. Worked closely with IATSE stagehands for all prop and scenery needs. Musical Guests included: Judy Collins, Bee Gees, Leahy, Chumba Wumba, Indigo Girls, Diana Krall. Of special significance is set ups for appearances of Broadway show casts of Jekyll and Hyde and Beauty and the Beast to our studio. Full set-ups required. (reel available)

 Adjunct Assistant Professor, SUNY

The State University of NY at Purchase, Purchase, NY [Fall 1999- Spring 2006]

Supervisor: Department of Design Technology/ Dan Hanessian: Former Chair.

735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, NY, 10577-1400

Duties included: Teaching Design Fundamentals: Color theory, drawing, design principles and elements as they apply to theatre design technology. Class is for aspiring Scenic, Costume and Lighting designers, Stage Managers, Production managers and Tech majors. This spring will be 4th consecutive year teaching this spring survey course. (7 years teaching this class 1996 to 2004)


Instructor/Scenic and Costume Designer: The Dalton School,

NYC 1992-93, Supervisor: Ms. J. Sheridan, Dean Secondary School, 108 E. 89Th St. NYC 10128

Duties included: As 1 year sabbatical replacement, Designing all sets and Costumes for productions in

this exclusive, highly acclaimed private middle school and high school. Productions included: Bye Bye Birdie, The Rimers of Eldredge, and The Importance of Being Ernest. Courses taught include: Stage Craft (hands on power tools, painting etc), Scenic Design/Senior Project Supervisor (Directing Projects).


Visiting Assistant Professor: Colgate University, Hamilton NY, 1989-91

Supervisor: Margaret Maurer

Duties included: 2 year non-tenure track teaching position. Scenic and Costume design for University Theatre Productions included: Rimers of Eldredge, Beaux Stratagem (Dir. Frank Hauser), Midsummer Nights Dream (Dir. Lucy Baily), Death Thrust (USA Premier- Alfonso Sastre), No Exit (Dir. Atlee Sproul), Tartuffe and The Misalliance (Dir. Jerome Kilty). Courses taught include: Scenic Design I, Advanced Scenic Design, Drama and the Playhouse‚ (Tracing the historical rise of the physical playhouse). Co-Curricular activities included; Advisor for Arts House (an “arts interest” student living facility), Organization of theatre trips to Syracuse Stage and Broadway, Organized student design exhibit, advisor for  4 independent theater projects on campus. Directed staged reading of Six Degrees of Separation. Job also included supervising student crews in the areas of costume and scene painting as well as supervising student scenic design projects.


Resident Designer: Gretna Theatre, Mt. Gretna, PA.  Summer, 1993

Director: Al Franklin

Duties included: Set and lighting Design for 4 summer productions including: Rumors, Park Your Car at Harvard Yard, Shirley Valentine and Oil City Symphony.  Executed all working drawings. Worked closely with scenic painter, props and tech director on a daily basis for 2 week period of each set execution. Participated in overnight load-ins and daily maintenance of visual aspects of the productions.


Production Designer: RJO Productions, Patterson, NJ (1986-89)

Supervisor/Owner: Robert J. O’Leary

Duties Included: Sight Surveys, Set Design and Production designs for various types of special events and industrial productions. Venues included major Hotel interiors as well as other exterior and found‚ spaces. Clients included: Lederle Pharmaceutical, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Johnson and Johnson, Ortho Pharmaceutical, National Car Rental, RICOH, Oldsmobile, Avon, Philip Morris.

Extensive travel experiences as well as working under very tight deadlines and budgets.

 Graduate Assistant: State University of New York at Purchase, Purchase, NY

Supervisor: Michael Cesario, Dept. Chair, Design/Technology

While working toward a masters degree in scenic design, maintained the paint shop, Supervised undergraduate crews, maintained inventory of supplies, maintenance of supplies and brushes, mentored freshman crew. (1986-88)


Graduate Assistant: Memphis State University, Memphis, TN

Supervisor: Richard Rice, former Chair, Theatre Department, Memphis State University (University of Memphis). Duties: Served as charge painter working in the shop 20 hours per week supervising undergraduates in painting all sets. Maintained all scenic art equipment including: dry pigments, casein and latex/acrylic technique, purchasing and inventories


Scenic Artist (Charge): Durham Summer Rep., NH (summer 1980)

Scenic Charge for various productions including: Candida, Betrayal and The Rivals.

Georgia Gresham, designer.


Scenic Artist (for 1979-81): Trinity Square Rep. Co., Providence, RI

Resident Set Designers: Robert Soule and Eugene Lee

Production paintings for shows including: Buried Child, Night of the Iguana, and

 Sly Fox. All above productions directed by Adrian Hall.

[See design/production resume, for extension of design tech positions held]


Freelance Design Clients Include:

American Folk Art Museum: Design and execution of scenic element for entrance of exhibit-THE WORLDS OF JOHN BREWSTER, JR. (Oct. 2006)

 Jim Henson Productions: Design and execution for home base showcase at their 79th street main office. Supervisor: Leslie Asche, Exhibits Director. (1986-89)

 J. Harris Inc Productions: Assisted David Mitchell, Scenic Designer for EFX: Time Machine project, which can currently be seen at the MGM Grande Hotel in Las Vegas. (1993)

 THINC Inc. Design: Assisted Tom Hennes by building models for SONY COMDEX Exhibit (1995) and NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, Leiden Holland (1997)

 Jonathan Arkin Production Design: Assisted with Tony Orlando, Branson MO project (Barnum) and model builder for Philip Morris exhibit.

 Visiting Guest Artist Projects:

 •Rhode Island College: Set Design of Uncommon Women and Others (Wasserstein).

Dr. P.William Hutchinson, Director

•Suffolk Community College (Long Island, NY): Set Design of Evita. Wayne Pevey, Director

•Providence College, Providence, RI: Set Design for Mother Courage

•University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI: Scenic Artist for Kris Kringle and Carols.

•Neighborhood Playhouse, NYC: Set Painter for various projects including: Bride of Olneyville Square (Edward Allen Baker), and several small one acts. Reference: Harold Baldridge, Director.

 (Also several projects for: Soho Rep, Joyce Theatre, Equity Library Theatre and Symphony Space, all in NYC)

 Film and TV Projects: (separate resume available)

 Meet Joe Black, Universal Pictures

Model Builder/Asst. Art Director   

Director: Martin Brest

Production Design, Dante Ferretti

Art Director: Robert Guerra


Bait, Castle Rock Entertainment

2nd Assistant Art Director

Production Design: Peter Jamison, Art Director: Patricia Woodbridge


The Devils Own, Universal Pictures

Model Builder

Director: Allan J. Pakula

Production Design, Jane Musky

Art Director: Robert Guerra


The Dean Of Thin Air

Assistant to the Art Directors/                       


Director: Diedre Friel

Art Directors.-T.Walden and S. Nathanson


Production Design

 35th Anniversary of Wide World of Sports

 Commemorative Video, ABC TV, Network


Production Design/Animation and Fabrication

“ ‘Twas the News You Missed”

Animated short for Good Morning America Weekend Edition Christmas Show 2004

 (clips available for all the above projects)


Exhibitions: [Fine art  and theatre design work, exhibited in the following shows]

 “The ‘False Faces’ of W.T. Benda”. [curator] An exhibition of the masks of Benda for the USITT National Conference 2010. [reel available]

 “ART IN THE GARDEN”: June 2001 through 2010

Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden, NYC (Curator/Exhibitor)


University of Rhode Island, Providence Campus (Invitational)

Steven Pennell: Curator


EOH Gallery

Earleville, NY (solo exhibition)

 “STAGEWORKS”, Works for the Stage, 1991

Creative Arts House Gallery,

Hamilton, NY (solo exhibition)


Art Students League of NY, 57th Street, NYC

Group Show (Illustrations) (1986) (2004) 2005)


Group show

Bannister Gallery

North Providence RI (spring 1978)


Awards and Recognitions:

2009 Outstanding Faculty of the Year from The School of Visual and Performing Arts [WCSU], given by the Student Government Association

 •EMMY Award, June 2007

(Certificate of recognition by the TELEVISION ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES for contribution to the award winning program GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ABC TV)

 •2002 Alumni Honoree: Rhode Island College

For professional work in TV, Theatre and Film.

•Sidney J. Hoffman Memorial Creative Achievement Award

Kiwanis Club, Cranston, RI (given to outstanding creative achiever in community)

•Award for Excellence in Theatre American College Theatre Festival, Wash DC

(For design of university production of The Robber Bridegroom [Rhode Island College] )

•Rhode Island College Theatre Award (to graduating senior who has contributed most to program)

•Rhode Island College Award for Excellence in Children’s Theatre

(Given to a graduating senior for outstanding contribution to children’s theatre program)


Papers and Publications:

ATHE (Association of Theatre in Higher Education)

Annual Conference/ July 2004/ Toronto, Ontario [Canada]

Panel Presentation : “BA vs. BFA”- Group Panel on the subject of "Design Pedagogy".


Publication of three articles on subject of Design Fundamentals in:


USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) Publication: January 2006


USITT Annual Conference, April 2006, Louisville KY

Panel Presentations (2) “Use of Projections in Scenery Applications” and “Use of Computer Graphics in Sketching ideas for Theatre Design Communication”


USITT Annual Conference, April 2007, Phoenix AZ (pending)

Panel Presentation “High Tech Low Tech use of Molds in Prop Fabrication”


USITT Annual Conference, March 2008, Houston TX

Presentation: “The Scenic Maquette as a Tool for Discovery”


USITT Annual Conference, March 2009, Cincinnati, OH

Presentation: “Period Style in the Smallest Detail”


Sightlines, USITT September 2009 issue.

Article: “The ‘False Faces’ of W.T. Benda”. A survey of upcoming exhibition which is being curated by Popiel in March 2010.


USITT Annual Conference, March 2010, Kansas City, MO

Presentation: “The ‘False Faces’ of W.T. Benda” and EXHBITION of same title with Thatcher Taylor and Nadine Charlesen.

Presentation: "Mask Making: New Materials/Old Techniques" with James Galvan, John Lavernway.

Miscellaneous Relevant Experiences:

 Theatre for Children:

 Little Peoples Theatre Company

Grove Street, NYC

Performer: Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (1982)


Looking Glass Theatre

Providence Rhode Island (1981-83)

Company member/performer:

A Look at the Law

Great Shakes

Einstein Experience

This prominent resident professional children’s theatre company toured all over New England (150 performances) in van with the scenery and costumes we constructed. Peter Miller: Director


Circus Wagon Theatre

Kingston, Rhode Island (summer 1975)  Brad Smoker: Director

Company member/performer

World premier of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Touring Circus show

This professional children’s theatre performed up and down the east coast at parks, camps and many -festivals. Also performed at the Maryland Arts Festival, Annapolis MD.

Director: Brad Smoker


Kaleidoscope Theatre

Providence, Rhode Island

On-going performer/day player/company member 1975-80) Various roles for stage and local television in Providence.

Director: David Payton


Rhode Island College Summer Theatre for Children

Performer:/ Company member (summer 1976)

The Bicentennial (directed by David Payton)

The Nifty Fifties (directed by David Payton)


Rhode Island College Theatre for Children


I Will (Shakespeare for kids) directed by - Howard Fine [Witch, Juliet, Ensemble]

The Mirrorman (directed by Tony Smith Wilson) [the doll]

White Crow (written and directed by Edward Allen Baker) [Parfa]


 Camp Counselor in areas of Crafts as well at Theatre:

Camp Point-O-Pines, Brant Lake NY [Arts and Crafts Director 1991-93, Michigania ’91-95]

Camp Interlocken, Hillsboro, NH [Director for: Interlocken Street Theatre Traveling Drama Troupe (1980)]

Camp Hoffman, RI  [Unit Leader-“World of Arts” unit] (1979)

 Ceramics: own a kiln, active in sculptural ceramics

Crafts: Published 4 booklets with Simplicity Pattern Co. (Copies available on request)

Acting resume available upon request. (Acted in over 30 productions of varied levels)


Miscellaneous Production Experience:

(see production resume for expanded design/tech credits)

As and undergrad, member of the Roberts Auditorium Technical Staff. While in this 5 year position/ Crew: Load-ins, follow spot, board operator for groups including: Ella Fitzgerald, Marcel Marceau, Paul Winter Consort, Lotte Gossler Mime Circus, Beaver Brown, Livingston Taylor, State Ballet of RI, Paul Winter Consort, as well as many guest speakers and campus events.


 Dr. Hugh McCarney           Western CT State U./Communications.         203-770-4637      mccarneyh@wcsu.edu

Dr. Katy Wiss                       Assoc. Dean/Arts & Sciences/WCSU            203-8378260      wissk@wcsu.edu

Dean Linda Vaden Goad        Dean of Arts and Sciences/WCSU              203-837-9400     vadengoadl@wcsu.edu

Mr. Ken Crowell                  Sr. Mgr./Production Services ABC/TV             212-456-5701

Richie Albero                        Production Manager                                     201-819-0233

Ms. Pat Weston                    Manager/Production Services ABC/TV         212-456-5738

Liliana Olszchewski            ABC/TV Director: Good Morning America        212-456-6858

Dr. Margaret Maurer           Colgate University/Chr. Eng Dept                  315-228-7265

Prof. Dan Hanessian           SUNY Purchase Design Tech                          914-251-6851     dan.hanessian@purchase.edu

 Specific production resumes, additional references and portfolio supplied upon request.CD ROM portfolio available.