Jason Simms

Assistant Professor


Jason Simms (he/him) is an award winning scenographer for Theater, Opera, and Musicals and has designed over 150 productions. He designs in New York City as well as at regional theaters all across the United States. 

New York Productions include (but are not limited to) Urge for Going (The Public Theater), The Bad Guys (Second Stage Uptown), A Bright New Boise, And Miles to Go, After, and Dutch Masters (Partial Comfort Productions), American Treasure and Melancholy Play (13P), When January Feels Like Summer, Finks, Against the Hillside, Winners, and Headstrong (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Donkey Punch (Soho Playhouse), and many productions for both the Drama Division and Vocal Arts Division at The Juilliard School. His regional credits include (but are not limited to) Sweat, Glass Menagerie, The Lion in Winter, and An Inspector Calls (Pioneer Theatre Co., Salt Lake City), Ragtime, Lost in Yonkers, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Sunshine Boys, RENT, and more (Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bucks County), The Whale (Denver Center Theatre Company/World Premiere), Be A Good Little Widow (The Old Globe, San Diego), 4000 Miles, Outside Mullingar, Disgraced, Having Our Say, (Philadelphia Theatre Company), The Immigrant, Trying, American Hero, American Son, The Whipping Man, Sex with Strangers, Venus in Fur (George St. Playhouse), Dutch Masters, Hair, and The Puppetmaster of Lodz (Berkshire Theatre Group), Clybourne Park, (Chautauqua Theatre Company) and The Loudest Man On Earth (TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley). Shakespeare productions include: As You Like It, The Tempest, Romeo & Juliet, Henry V, Cymbeline, Richard II, Love's Labor's Lost, and King Lear, Hamlet, and more. Prior to teaching at Cornell, Jason taught courses in design for performance at Fordham University, Montclair State University, and Williams College. Jason was the recipient of the USITT and LiveDesign's Rising Star Award in 2012 and has received other award nominations including American Theatre Wing's Henry Hewes Excellence in Design Award and Theatre Phildadelphia's Barrymore Award for Outstanding Scenic Design.  Visit www.jasonsimmsdesign.com to experience a digital portfolio and blog.

Research Focus

Design for Theatre

Design for Film

Design for Media

Design for Opera



World Building


Awards and Honors

2023 Einhorn Center for Community Engagement Grant, Cornell University: Fertile Grounds, Civic Ensemble

2021 Arthur C. And Molly Phelps Bean Faculty Fellowship: 1991, A Virtual Reality Documentary

2020 Cornell Council for the Arts Faculty Grant: The Bubble

2018 Best Scenic Designer for a Musical, The Berkshire Record: Hair

2017 Henry Hewes (American Theatre Wing) Award nomination for Best Set Design: Hamlet

2016 Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Set Design: Disgraced

2015 Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Set Design: Ragtime

2015 Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Set Design: Lost in Yonkers

2015 Broadway World Regional Philadelphia Awards nomination for Best Set Design: Ragtime

2014 Henry Hewes (American Theatre Wing) Award nomination for Best Set Design: the food was terrible

2014 Broadway World Regional Connecticut Awards nomination for Best Set Design: The Hound of the Baskervilles

2012 USITT Rising Star Award Recipient

2007 Chautauqua Theatre Company Design Fellowship in Scenic Design


Member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, NYC, since 2010

Affiliated Artist with Clubbed Thumb, NYC, since 2013

Member of Civic Ensemble’s Artistic Ensemble, Ithaca, NY, since 2022

Juror for the United States Institute for Technical Theatre Prague Quadrennial exhibition competition

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