Tony Award-Winning Lighting Designer, Natasha Katz, Accepts 2018 Apple Award

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, a department within the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, will honor legendary Broadway lighting designer, Natasha Katz, with the 2018 Apple Award on Thursday, April 19, 2018 during an invitation-only ceremony at the Fisher Theatre prior to that evening’s performance of Broadway’s “School of Rock,” for which Ms. Katz designed the lighting.

On Friday, April 20, at 10:30 a.m., the public is invited to the Studio Theatre at the Hilberry, located at 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48202, for “A Conversation with Tony Award-Winning Lighting Designer, Natasha Katz”. John Wolf, chair and professor of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, will host Ms. Katz in a thrilling discussion about her renowned career. It is free and open to the public. RSVPs are encouraged and can be submitted online at  

Natasha Katz is a lighting designer who works extensively in the worlds of Broadway, Opera, and Ballet.  She was recently nominated for a 2017 Tony Award for “Hello, Dolly!,” and a 2017 Olivier Award for her work on “The Glass Menagerie”.  She won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Play for her work on “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”. She has six Tony Awards, with 14 nominations.

Among over 50 Broadway credits include designs for “Frozen” (February 2018), “Springsteen on Broadway” (2017), “Meteor Shower” (2017), “Cats “(2016), “School of Rock,” “An American in Paris” (Tony Award), “Gigi,” “Skylight,” “Aladdin,” “Motown,” “Once” (Tony Award), “Follies,” “Sister Act,” “Elf,” “Collected Stories,” “The Addams Family,” “Impressionism,” “Hedda Gabler,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Coast of Utopia: Salvage” (Tony Award),  “A Chorus Line” (revival), “The 25th Annual Spelling Bee,” “Tarzan,” “Aida” (Tony Award), “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Twelfth Night,” “Dance of Death,”  “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Capeman,” “Gypsy”. She has subsequently recreated her designs for many of these productions around the world.       

She has lit such luminaries as Zachary Quinto, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mike Tyson, Jessica Lange, Helen Hunt, Mary Louise Parker, Christopher Plummer, Elaine Stritch, Cathy Rigby, Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Claudette Colbert, Rex Harrison, and has designed concert acts for Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret, and Tommy Tune.

In the world of Dance, Natasha is a frequent collaborator with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, with projects including “The Winter’s Tale,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,”  and “Tryst,” all at the Royal Opera House in London. Other collaborations with Mr. Wheeldon include “Continuum” (San Francisco Ballet), “Carnival of the Animals” and “An American in Paris” (New York City Ballet).  Her other dance work includes American Ballet Theatre’s production of “Don Quixote” and productions with companies including San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and National Ballet of Canada.

For the Opera stage, her credits include “Die Soldaten” for the New York City Opera, two productions of “Norma” for Joan Sutherland: the Opera Pacific in Costa Mesa, California, and the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, She has also worked with The Royal Opera on “Cyrano de Bergerac,” directed by Francesca Zambello.

Her film work includes “Barrymore” starring Christopher Plummer, and “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth”. She has also lit the HBO Television specials “Mambo Mouth” and “Side-O-Rama”.

Her permanent audio-visual shows include “The Masquerade Village” at the Rio Casino, Las Vegas, and “Big Bang” at the Hayden Planetarium in New York, and for Niketown in New York City. and London.

A New York City native, Natasha trained at Oberlin College, and early in her career was mentored by Roger Morgan.

The Apple Award, named for Sarah Applebaum Nederlander, is given by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University on behalf of the Nederlander family. In 2001, the Nederlander family formed a partnership with the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, establishing the Sarah Applebaum Nederlander Award for Excellence in Theatre; an annual theatre award and visiting artist fund in their mother’s name. The Apple Award brings a nationally prominent theatre professional to Detroit and the Wayne State University campus as a guest lecturer to interact with and educate the rising stars of the Department of Theatre and Dance through master classes and a question-and-answer style forum. Previous Apple Award winners include Garth Fagan, Neil Simon, Carol Channing, Stephen Schwartz, Mandy Patinkin, Patti Lupone, Marvin Hamlisch, Elaine Stritch, and Tom Skerritt.

Additional information about the Apple Award is available online at