ALEXANDER V. NICHOLS THEATRICAL DESIGN
ABOUT ALEXANDER V. NICHOLS
Alexander V. Nichols’ design work extends from lighting, video, projections, scenery, costumes and spans from dance, theater, opera to architectural lighting and art installations. The Berkeley, California native got his start at a young age designing scenery and lighting for Berkeley Ballet Theatre where his mother, Sally Streets, was Artistic Director and his sister Kyra Nichols, a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet, and brother Robert Nichols, a former member of Chicago City Ballet, would make guest appearances. From these familial roots Mr. Nichols has emerged as a designer for dance and theater on an international level. He has served as Resident Visual Designer for the Margaret Jenkins Dance Co. since 1988, as resident lighting designer for the Pennsylvania Ballet, Hartford Ballet, American Repertory Ballet and as Lighting Director for American Ballet Theatre. His designs have been set companies including San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Alberta Ballet, ODC/SF and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He has collaborated with choreographers including Chrostopher d’Amboise, Val Caniparoli, Ann Carlson, Sonya Delwaide, Marguerite Donlon, Dominique Dumais, Alex Eckman, Joe Goode, Jean Grand-Maitre, Bill T. Jones, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Graham Lustig, Mark Morris, Matjash Mrozewski, Mikko Nissenen, Kevin O’Day, Kirk Peterson, Stephen Petronio, Yuri Possokhov, Michael Smuin, Myles Thatcher, Helgi Tomasson and Brenda Way.
In theater, Mr. Nichols’ designed the video for “Broadway To Oz” - Hugh Jackman’s 2015 Australian Arena tour. His Broadway credits include the scenic, lighting and projection design for Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking”, lighting design for “Latin History For Morons", projection designs for “Hugh Jackman – Back on Broadway” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. Off Broadway credits include: “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” (set/lighting/video), “In Masks Outrageous and Austere” (lighting), “In The Wake” (lighting/video), “Through The Night” (set/lighting/video), “Taking Over” (lighting/video), “Bridge and Tunnel” (lighting), “Los Big Names” (scenic/lighting/projection) and "Horizon" (scenic and lighting). Additional theater credits include production designs for Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage Co., Huntington Theater, Seattle Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the National Theater of Taiwan and the Alley Theater.
Mr. Nichols experience also reaches to live music where he got his start by assisting Lighting Designer Harri Kouvenen in the garage band days of the heavy metal bands Metallica, Exodus and Laaz Rockit. He has since developed collaborations with: Opera Philadelphia ("Elizabeth Cree" lighting/projection), LA Philharmonic (“Nixon In China” scenic/projection), Cleveland Symphony Orchestra (Bluebeard & Magnificent Mandarin scenic/lighting/video), San Francisco Opera (Svadba (scenic/lighting), Composer Philip Glass and photographer Frans Lanting (“Life - A Journey Through Time” video direction/visual choreography), Kronos Quartet (“Visual Music” scenery/video), Paul Dresher Ensemble (“Sound Stage” scenic/lighting, and “Awed Behavior” scenic/lighting), Gamelan Sekar Jaya (“Kawit Legong” lighting) and Bill Frisell (“Disfarmer Project” scenery/video) He also designed the lighting for “Aid and Comfort II”, an AIDS benefit in collaboration with Eiko Ishioka featuring Laurie Anderson, Herbie Hancock, Phillip Glass, John Adams and the Kronos Quartet.
In the architectural lighting realm he has created the exterior lighting for the Sentinel Building, Francis Ford Coppola's historic headquarters in San Francisco. As a sideline to his theatrical career Mr. Nichols has intermittently pursued his own sculptural projects in wood, metal and light. He is currently an active collaborator in the museum installation piece “Circle Of Memory”, as structural and lighting designer for the project, created with Eleanor Coppola, Richard Beggs, Jean McMann, Elizabeth Macdonald and Robilee Frederick which just completed exhibitions in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.
Mr. Nichols is a recipient of a San Francisco Certificate of Honor for his work at American Conservatory Theater. He has also received four Isadora Duncan Awards, four Bay Area Critics Circle Awards and three Dean Goodman Awards as well as two nominations each for Henry Hewes Design Awards and Los Angeles Ovation Awards.