After receiving his Masters from the University of Utah, Jeff was introduced to the world of professional theatre by the late Jo Mielziner, the Broadway designer who had great impact on the world of scenic design. Under his guidance, Jeff worked in his studio as an assistant on such projects as In Praise of Love with Rex Harrison and Julie Harris; Miss Moffat with Bette Davis, Dorian Harewood, and Nell Carter; Don Giovanni at the Met; and the ever expansive Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver. It was during this time that the essence of professional behavior was ingrained as well as understanding the importance of education.
As a scenic designer/scenic artist with over 400 professional credits to his name, Jeff’s work has been seen on the stages of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD), Clarence Brown Theatre (University of Tennessee), Santa Fe Opera House, Vermont Stage Company, where he is currently a resident artist, Dallas Opera, Augusta Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Studio Arena (Buffalo, NY), Music Theatre of Wichita, Cleveland Playhouse, Playhouse on the Square (Memphis, TN) McCarter Playhouse (Princeton, NJ), North Shore Music Theatre, Yale Repertory, Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), New York City Opera, Goodspeed Opera House, Penn State as well as Broadway, Off-Broadway, and the silver screen. Jeff has designed for Industrial projects (Vermont Public Television, Jaguar, IBM, Got Milk, and Buliva Watches), numerous national and international tours and was one of three mural artists on The Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story exhibit for the National Holocaust Museum in Washington as well as the tour which extended for over twelve years. He has been the resident designer/production coordinator at the Candlewood Playhouse in Connecticut for five years and at Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island for a total of nine years. He designed the national tours of Kiss Me, Kate (Networks Tours) and Singin’ in the Rain (Fourquest Entertainment), worked on the two seasons of the Showtime series The Brotherhood and painted on the Disney film Underdog.
Jeff has taught in a variety of circumstances: New York Consortium, CW Post College of Long Island, Western Connecticut State University, Brown University, and the University of Rhode Island. After 23 years at UVM and eleven years as chair of the Department of Theatre, Jeff sees the opportunities ahead as a shared adventure for students, faculty and staff. Proud of his association with America’s rich theatrical heritage, he believes we will forge an enlightened future in the arts for the Burlington community.
Jeff currently lives in the country side of St. Albans, Vermont with his husband Matt Sutkoski and dogs, Jackson and Tonks. Life is good.
Jeff is currently a union member of IATSE/USA.