Chen-Wei Liao is a New York City based scenic designer originating from Taipei, Taiwan. She received her B.A. in Drama and Theater from National Taiwan University and the  M.F.A. in Scenic Design from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Chen-Wei has diverse experiences in theater, film and exhibition both in Asia and United States. Growing up in a bilingual and a multi-cultural environment, she is interested in observing and creating the connection between people, stories and space. 


One of her recent meditation topics is the relativity between Freedom - Rights - Responsibility. And she is obsessed with psychology, neuron science and animal behavior studies.

Her New York City theatre credits include the world premiere of THREE MUSKETEERS 1941, produced by Project Y Theatre and was featuring by the Woman in Theatre Festival (WIT); LIGHTS OUT ! with A.N.D. Theatre Company; THE GLASS MENAGERIE with Pigeonholed Company. Regional credits include world premiere of RIDE SALLY RIDE, with the B Street Theatre; CHARLOTTE’S WEB with B Street Theatre, and the upcoming productions of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and THE ODYSSEY with Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Film Production Design credits include FREEDOM SHADOW, Directed by Ria Tobaccowala, selected by Tribeca Film Festival 2020; USER ZERO, Directed by Ria Tobaccowala; and THE EXCHANGED, directed by Thais Vitorelli, selected and produced by Coca-Cola & Regal in 2019.



Scenic Designer Chen-Wei Liao also needs to be recognized for creating such a magnificently sterile and horrifying set.  A veritable vortex of bleached children’s toys represents a sort of cold stillness mocking the representation of play.  Before the play began, so many of its themes became clear.


Liao design places the record label on a lift, creating a variety of environments for the “actors” to circulate the Man in Chair and for him to weave in and out of the imaginary action which explodes across the stage of CMU’s Phillip Chosky Theatre.

Part of what makes this production The Drowsy Chaperone so enjoyable, besides the sheer camp silliness of the musical is the way Dodge seamlessly integrates it all together. The pacing flows from scene to scene, number to number, but never drags.


The set design by Chen-Wei Liao is also very well done. I was particularly impressed and startled by the way the backdrop of chains were used throughout the show, acting as both a divide from the private and the public and literal chains of a holding cell.


But the look and sound of the production were just right. The setting (designed by Chen-Wei Liao), dominated by lines of hanging laundry and a simple but workable fire escape, provided the proper tone, while the enlarged photograph, featured prominently, of the missing father was only partially visible. 



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