Praise for La Tragedie de Carmen
“Entering the West End Theater, a small, intimate venue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the audience is met by a sparse, yet beautifully-aged rotunda. City Lyric’s production designer Anna Driftmier chose an ankle-deep, rectangular reflection pool as the centerpiece for the action. That was it in terms of scenery. When Charlotte McPhearson’s lighting design combined with Driftmier’s minimalistic scenography, something unique and captivating happened as the water’s reflection bounced, shimmied and shimmered around the entirety of the theater, amplifying the movements of the characters and their plights. The close collaboration between Driftmier, McPhearson, and Collado was unmistakably apparent in their less-is-more approach to the set. The use of light and water wasn’t a gimmick; it served the story, and never distracted the mind away from the narrative.
The reflection pool created an aquatic opera; there’s no other description for what City Lyric has done. With such little room for the characters to move about, it would’ve been easy for the singers to park and bark, but that didn’t happen. The artists’ actions, though confined, felt free as they explored the space. Within a few minutes, it was easy to forget that the performance was running in an area not much larger than a kiddie pool.”
“The production reminds us that shaping a classic differently does not have to diminish the original… Brook hit the high points and so does the City Lyric. It was a terrific evening of musical theater.”
Praise for Wickedest Woman
“Designed by Anna Driftmier, the set was absolutely lovely. It felt like the bits and pieces of Ann Lohman’s life fitted together. It was interesting that a lot of elements were incomplete – with this sort of history, a lot of the truth is drowned out by the work of tabloids and newspapers that condemned her or painted her in a less than flattering light.”
“Six actors, three men and three women, in a company of seven, play many roles in this fluid production designed by Anna Driftmier that uses several different doorways, on-stage props and furniture that is rolled out swiftly to tell Ann’s story from age 16 in 1828 to her untimely death at 66 in 1878”
Praise for Dolphins and Sharks
"Anna Driftmier’s set transforms the Finborough stage into a tired office with impressive attention to detail and a quantity of stationery to rival any branch of Ryman. "
"The signs are excellent when you enter the Finboroush's latest set... The nostalgia for crap workplaces is instant and overwhelming - more universal than its specific Harlem setting might suggest."
"The set design is beautiful. The soundtrack beats are pounding. This is simply a quality production, with not a hair out of place."
Praise for Radioman
"conjures the boat, the stars and the entire cosmos with pleasing simplicity"
"Anna Driftmier’s set is a stunner, an evocative assembly of old wood, the ghost of a boat"
"Entering The Old Red Lion Theatre you can’t help but be intrigued by the set which is huge, making great use of the space, and yet even when it’s sans The Walker it seems to be brimming with history, a past life that is marred by experience and intrigue. There is great care in all the small detail that Driftmier has put into creating this set and this shows."
"A combination of Marine Le Houëzec’s lighting and Anna Driftmeir’s set created a solid foundation for the most beautiful moments in the play, and I think without the charm they brought to the show, it would not have been such a roaring success."
Praise for Dust Child
"after the show a kid and his carer came up to me behind the set and stroked my arm. The carer said 'he just wanted to thank you'. The child then proceeded to trace the drawing on the Blue Moon crate and mutter 'beautiful', after which he picked up a star can and did the same, trying out the light inside... The carer then said 'his autism means he sometimes doesn't really see the big picture, but he focusses in on small details and finds joy in those'"
- Performer Testimonial
Praise for East O' the Sun West O' the Moon
"Anna Driftmier's design concept is immaculately consistent throughout, simple and strong without being overpowering.... Driftmier's costumes are similarly impressive, in harmony with her overall vision."
"Everything about this work was perfect from the simple set, bear costume, and puppet winds to the singing, and performances."
Praise for Seven Velvet Suits
"Walking into his derelict rooms, with crumpled manuscripts drifting across the floor like so many dead and rotting leaves, punctuated in corners by empty (and full!) bottles of absinthe, the general squalor (with plaster literally peeling off the walls) breathes out a sense of overwhelming sadness. Designer Anna Driftmier’s eye for detail even extends to period-perfect 1920s labels on the little bottles of cod liver oil by his shaving stand, with matching empties lying broken beneath."
Praise for All’s Well That Ends Well
“The production crew—particularly Anna Driftmier (set) and Charlotte McPherson (lighting), and Carsen Joenk’s sound design … should be called out for their ability to take a small stage in a cramped theater just off the Bowery and create a very professional looking production that unfortunately played only briefly (the amount of work involved can only be deemed excessive for so short a run).”
Praise for Golden Boy
"The scenic design by Anna Driftmier was very lovely... The color and size of the set speaks volumes about the world of the play. Having the boxing ring behind the scrim with the lighting was such a lovely effect....
This two shining elements of this show are the costume design, also by Anna Driftmier, and the remarkable violinist, Filip Pogády. The period clothes are pristine and appropriate to each character. From Lorna Moon’s colorful dresses and accessories to the various suits for the male character – each speaking to his financial condition, the costumes were delightful."
"set and costume designer Anna Driftmier emphasizes the grittiness of immigrant life and the false glamor of the newly well-off"
Praise for Paper Hearts
"Anna Driftmier's set design is meticulously detailed and she is able to carry the audience directly into a dusty old bookshop. Piles of books, boxes, crates and a ladder play with the romantic aesthetic of the store, conveying its decay, and the vibe provided by the stacks of pre-loved books crowd the stage with their friendly presence."
"Anna Driftmier’s set – built largely from books, and full of delightful details like the floating book light (which is something I never knew I wanted until I saw it, and now it’s all I can think about)"
Praise for A Village Romeo and Juliet
"Anna Driftmier’s set is evocative. At the rear, distressed windmills flap and whirl, beside denuded tree trunks; in this barren world, one can imagine why the two farmers stake their claim for the wild pasture... ingenious."
"Driftmier's very effective set was made of wooden elements which was constantly manipulated by the chorus, not only effecting scene changes but by their constant presence creating a sense of the community which puts so much pressure on Sali and Vreli's relationships. This was an opera centred on the concerns of a small town community, something which helped put the plot into context and providing the back-story which Delius omitted.... I found the production highly atmospheric and enjoyed the deliberate lack of technical sophistication in the sets; the walls of the house doubled as a platform when laid down and had to be supported by chorus members when vertical."
Praise for The Taming of the Shrew
"Anna Driftmier's louche lounge design marks one of the more effective transfigurations of space in this studio."
"Anna Driftmier had a ball with costume design, with Kazeem Tosin Amore and Tim Bowie (Katharina and Bianca, respectively) squeezed into befitting corsets and heels, with colourful materials dressing the characters throughout. "
Praise for Valkyrie
"The motorway carries on forever. Literally. It runs along the stage, up the wall, over the ceiling and back down onto the floor again in a huge loop. A single crack runs down the middle that eventually widens to a huge pothole on one of the walls. This set functions perfectly with the performance’s needs"