Stephen Pruitt has been working in the arts as a designer, writer, director and performer for nearly twenty years. After studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, he switched directions by spending two years at Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati working under several well know directors and playwrights, including Lee Blessing, Edward Albee and Rebecca Miller. Shortly after, he began designing lighting and sets and became interested in dance, becoming the resident designer for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theater, where he worked with many nationally known Dance groups and choreographers including Parsons Dance, Urban Bush Women, Doug Varone, David Dorfman and many others.
Since moving to Austin in 1997, Stephen has worked as a freelance Lighting, Scenic, and Video designer, collaborating with many of Austin’s biggest and most creative theater and dance groups including Forklift Danceworks, Tapestry Dance Company, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance (as resident production designer for all three), Trouble Puppet Theater (resident lighting designer), and Rude Mechs (company member) as well as Spank Dance Company, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Physical Plant Theater, and St Edwards University’s Mary Moody Northern Theater. His company, Fluxion Scenic and Light has produced and designed many seminal Austin events, including Austin Film Society’s Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, the Mayor’s party at City Hall for First Night, and opening night parties for Cirque du Soleil’s first two Austin Premieres. In addition to his work in Austin, Stephen tours and travels frequently, most recently touring with Tapestry Dance in China, the Rude Mechs in Los Angeles and Washington DC, and designing dance festivals in Vancouver, and as a technical consultant and designer for the revitalization of the historic Emery Theater, in Cincinnati, where the inaugural season included shows by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, The National, Bill Frisell, and Dean and Britta.
Stephen has received many nominations and awards from Austin’s critics and arts community including each of his collaborations with Forklift, and is the only designer in Austin to be nominated for Critic’s Table and B. Iden Payne Awards in both the Scenic Design and Lighting Design categories. Most recently, in its end of the year Top Ten lists, the Austin Chronicle named shows that Stephen designed in nearly half (9 of 20) of its listings in the dance category, including shows from Forklift, Tapestry, and Kathy Hamrick Dance Companies.