Mary Tarantino

Professor Emeritus
Emeritus Faculty

Mary Tarantino was Resident Lighting Designer and Professor of Theatre at The Ohio State University as well as Director of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute until her retirement in 2019. Professional lighting design credits include:  CAPA (the Shubert and Southern Theatres), the Virginia Arts Festival and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Hartford Stage Youth Theatre, The Children's Theatre of Massachusetts, Karamu House of Cleveland, Players Theatre Columbus, shows for the Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO) and others. Selected productions designed at Ohio State since 1991 include: The TrialAngels in America (Peristroika and Millenium Approaches), Dangerous Corner, A Song for Coretta, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The House of the Spirits, the upcoming One Man, Two Guvnors and many others. Collaborations with the School of Music include: A Little Night Music, Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni, Peer Gynt, and Candide. World premieres and devised works for the Department include: Interior Day (1997), Pangea (2008) and The Camouflage Project (2011) which also toured to Maryland in 2012. Some recent publications include “The Angels of History: Memorializing the Women of the Special Operations Executive,” (with Lesley Ferris) for Working Memory: Women and Work in World War II,  "Beyond the Produced Design: Teaching Lighting Design Through Archival Research" in Documenting: Lighting Design (Performing Arts Resources), "Uncovering Gems: Theatrical Design Collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society" (Theatre Survey), and a biographical essay on Gilbert Hemsley in “Late & Great: American Designers 1960-2010.” Mary has presented at conferences including USITT, SIGGRAPH, Show Light, IFTR, and most recently at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Wassenaar). In 1995 Mary received a Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment Grant establish a Moving Lights Laboratory in the Department of Theatre. In 2011 she received a second BETHA grant for “Re-visioning Light in our Lives: Holistic and Sustainable Approach.”

Areas of Expertise
  • Lighting Design and Technology
  • Theatre Collections Research
  • MFA University of Massachusetts
  • BA Marquette University