Richard Harris Graham Jr.

Richard Harris Graham Jr

Title: Theater Educator/Designer
Company: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Richard Harris Graham, Jr., Theater Educator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in scenic and lighting design.

Drawing upon more than four decades of experience, Mr. Graham is a distinguished theater educator who most recently served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Theater, since 1985. He has been teaching on the faculty as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor since 1978 when the Professional Theater Training Program was created. Prior to his start at UWM he was Resident Designer at the Mill Mountain Playhouse for three years and Assistant Designer at the Alley Theatre in Houston where he also designed “Tango” and the premiere of “Dear Love” with Jerome Kilty and Myrna Loy. He also taught at the N.C. School of the Arts for two years. He was a Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre for five years where he designed ten mainstage shows and created a second performance space, designing multiple productions in this venue. His professional free-lance work, while balancing his teaching, stretches across 38 Theatre, Dance and Opera Companies. Among these are the Milwaukee Ballet Company (36 productions) Milwaukee Chamber Theater, Next Act Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks, and Theatre Gigante. His international design credits include productions in Germany, Australia, China, Japan, Slovenia, France, and Canada and Mexico. He was Resident Designer for Theatre X for 14 years of whom American Theatre Magazine said “Theatre X is one of the most influential ensembles of the American Theatre. (a company which) has redefined the theatrical process, broken new theatrical ground and challenged the aesthetic and political perception of the field”.

After two years in architecture at North Carolina State‘s School of Design, he subsequently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the North Carolina School for the Performing Arts in 1971. Mr. Graham has been a Scenic and Lighting Designer for over 350 productions. He became interested in his profession from a young age, having been raised by parents who were enthralled with Broadway productions and frequently took him to shows when he was a child. Most recently he designed the scenery for Michael Pink’s “Peter Pan” for “Ballet Du France” in 2017 which opened in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais Des Festivals in Cannes. He also designed this ballet’s world premiere in Milwaukee in 2010 and it toured (six semi trucks) to Denver and Ohio.

Mr. Graham notes the professional honors he received for his design of Theatre X’s “Poor Folks Pleasure” at the Suzuki International Toga Festival in Japan and “Good Person of Szechwan” at the Breman Theatre Festival. He also notes his design of “Frederick Layton and His World” for the 1888-1988 Centennial Celebration at the Milwaukee Art Museum. In 2014  he was notably featured on PBS, and he received the Fromkin Lecture Award for Social Justice for “On the Line” with Theatre X.

He attributes his success to his many mentors:

Charles Evans, an Artist and Theater Designer who’s scenic studio built the New York production of “Hair”. Sculptor Ray Musselwhite, Architect Abie Harris and Patsy, and Choreographer Job Sanders at N.C.S.A., for whom Mr. Graham designed numerous Ballets, including several world premieres.

Mr. Graham is looking forward to the 50th Anniversary 2019/2020 season of the Milwaukee Ballet Company which will feature a full-length ballet which he designed. He started designing for MBC 43 years ago.

For more information, please visit:

Lifetime Achievement

Contact Mr. Graham:


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