Monday, April 20, 2009

Lighting Legend Passes

Tharon Musser Passes Away At Age 84
Apr 19, 2009 10:11 PM, By Ellen Lampert-Greaux

Tharon Musser, the dean of Broadway lighting design, passed away at the age of 84. "After a long illness, Tharon passed away comfortably in the company of her long-time partner Marilyn Rennagel," reports Steve Terry, who worked with Tharon on the Tony Award-winning production of A Chorus Line in 1975. "

For those of us that knew Tharon, this is not unexpected news, but still very, very hard to hear."

Musser, who was born on January 8, 1925, won the Tony for Best Lighting Design for A Chorus Line as well as Follies (1972) and Dreamgirls (1982). She designed over 150 Broadway shows, garnering another seven Tony nominations. Considered a pioneer in the field and the Dean of American Lighting Designers, she was acclaimed for her groundbreaking work on A Chorus Line, the first Broadway production to utilize a completely computerized lighting console instead of the manually operated "piano boards."

She received an Eddy Awards from Entertainment Design in 2000, with a panel discussion by the original production team of A Chorus Line. At the 2007 United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Musser was honored with a tribute to her long and impressive career. To celebrate this event, USITT published a detailed book honoring her life, artistry and remarkable career as an American lighting designer.