ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Three-time Emmy Award winner Ray Klausen will give a Visiting Master Artists talk at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.
Klausen will give his insight into building a career as a set designer for the stars of Hollywood, Broadway and the entertainment world such as Cher, Elton John, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. Klausen won three Emmy Awards, two for designing the sets for “The Academy Awards” and one for a TV special with Cher. He received nine additional Emmy nominations.
Klausen’s appearance coincides with an ongoing exhibition at The Quick Center, “From Hollywood to Broadway,” which features a collection of set models of his work on Broadway, along with images of his spectacular creations for television. The exhibition, curated by Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the Quick Center, is on view in the Paul and Toni Branch Gallery on the first floor of the Quick Center until Nov. 18.
A 1967 graduate of the Drama School of Yale University, Klausen has a long resume of theater and television credits, including Broadway, off-Broadway and international productions. Over the years he has designed more than 400 shows.
Some of his many astounding accomplishments include sets for “The Academy Awards” (seven years); “The Tony Awards;” “The Emmy Awards;” “The Grammy Awards;” “The American Music Awards” (26 years); “The Gala of the President at Ford’s Theater” (six years); “The Kennedy Center Honors” (14 years); “The American Film Institute” (10 years); “A Night of 100 Stars;” TV specials for Bing Crosby, Neil Diamond, Lynda Carter, the Muppets, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, President Clinton and Elvis Presley; “The Miss America Pageant” (seven years); and designs for the Bally show girls in Las Vegas.
For the Broadway stage, he designed “Brooklyn: The Musical;” “Burn the Floor;” “On Golden Pond;” “Waiting in the Wings,” with Lauren Bacall; “Bea Arthur: Between Friends;” and “Liza Minelli at the Palace,” to name a few.
Far from retirement, Klausen has upcoming projects in New York and London and his design for the New York Philharmonic’s production of “Carousel” will be shown on Public Television in February.
In addition to the afternoon’s public talk, Klausen will meet with a selected number of SBU Theater students 8:30 a.m. in Garret Theater on campus, said Ludwig Brunner, interim executive director of The Quick Center.
“In meeting Mr. Klausen personally during the last year, I learned that at this stage in his astounding career there is one thing dear to his heart: giving back,” said Brunner. “He loves to meet and talk with students to give his advice on how to start a career, build it by always maintaining the highest standards, taking risks and, most of all, dedication to the job. I think students and people of all ages will find this an exciting afternoon. We are very proud and grateful that Mr. Klausen has agreed to visit St. Bonaventure University.”
In the evening, The Quick Center will present a fundraising event, “Emmy Night at the Quick Center,” in honor of Klausen, starting with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and dinner on the stage at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the establishment of a Visiting Masters Fund to enable similar programs in the future. A few single tickets at $75 are still available for the event. For reservations, call Juliana Bordonaro at 716-375-2464.
The Quick Center’s galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Museum admission is free and open to the public year round. For more information, visit www.sbu.edu/quickcenter.
About the University: St. Bonaventure is in the top 15 percent of institutions in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 ranking of Northern universities that offer master’s degrees. It has a history of accomplishment and service that extends back 150 years. At the heart of St. Bonaventure University is the Franciscan affirmation of the dignity and worth of the entire created order. Fundamental to this vision is an awareness that it is within relationships and community that individuals discover and develop their potential.