Associate Professor, Scenic Design
// Rueff School // Theatre
// Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance
Office and Contact
Room: PAO 2188
Phone: (765) 494-0973
BS, Murray State University
MA, University of Kentucky
MFA, Northwestern University
Rusty has designed over 140 productions for theatre, opera, and television. Recent work includes Babette’s Feast, Amphibian Stage Productions, which was awarded Outstanding Scenic Design in 2019 by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum; The Mousetrap, as well as 14 other productions, Purdue University; The Music Man, and The Rakes Progress, The University of Michigan; Comedy Sportz, Chicago; Death and the Maiden, Centaur Theatre, Montreal; The Nutcracker, RiverPark Center, Kentucky; River of Time (world premiere), Lexington Opera House; and, Quartet, Hudson Village Theatre, Quebec. He received Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Citation for Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design for Noises Off at Pegasus Theatre Chicago. His scenic designs are featured on the covers of three popular texts: Play Directors’ Survival Kit, for which he served as graphic designer/illustrator; J. Michael Gillette’s Theatrical Design and Production, 7th edition, and the forthcoming seventh edition of Designing with Light, by J. Michael Gillette and Michael McNamara.
Rusty has lectured at the Beijing Dance Academy and the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, and gave a lecture and consulted on a new theatre facility at the American International School of Guangzhou. He has given multiple lectures at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia, South America.
An associate professor of stage design at Purdue since 1998, he served as department chair his first ten years at Purdue and the prior five years at the University of Kentucky. He was a thirteen-year member of the selection committee and a past chair of Design and Technology for Region III of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). He was awarded the 2004 national scenic design fellowship for the KCACTF Summer Design Intensives at the Kennedy Center. In 2014, he was awarded the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for his service to the American College Theater Festival.
His Master of Fine Arts degree in stage design is from Northwestern University.