PAT COLLINS was an American lighting designer born on this date (d: 3-21-2021); Collins made her Broadway debut with a 1976 revival of Threepenny Opera. Her additional New York City credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’, King of Hearts, I’m Not Rappaport, Execution of Justice, The Heidi Chronicles, Conversations with My Father, The Sisters Rosensweig, Proof, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Doubt.
Ms Collins was born in Brooklyn. Her mother worked for a law firm and her father left the family when Pat was very young. She attended Brown University, studying Spanish. It was there she joined a campus drama group. She then spent a year at Yale Drama — where she met her life partner Dr. Virginia Stuermer — but thought it was a waste of time. She went to work as a stage manager for the Joffrey Ballet and then as an assistant to Jean Rosenthal, a top Broadway lighting designer at the American Shakespeare Festival.
In 1976 Joseph Papp hired her to design the lighting for productions of The Three Penny Opera at Lincoln Center, which earned her a Tony nomination and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in 1977.
In the production “Good People”, Pat Collins goal was to bring naturalism to the show. Collins was aware not only of the need to hear actors but also the need to see them speak. She said that the lighting was dictated by what scenic designer John Lee Beatty did with the sets, but her job went a little deeper than that. “It is really quite specific in its locations, and it is about trying to make you believe those locations that became my job as well as making sure that you heard because you could see those actors all of the time.”
In 1986, Collins won the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design for I’m Not Rappaport and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for Execution of Justice.
In addition to her contributions to Broadway, Collins was also active with regional theaters such as Hartford Stage Company, Goodman Theater, McCarter Theater, Steppenwolf, Lincoln Center, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe Theater and Ford’s Theater.
She is survived by her partner of 64 years, Dr. Stuermer.