Richard Olmsted has designed over 150 professional theatre and dance productions, for companies including California Shakespeare Festival, Marin Theatre Co, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Rep, ODC/SF, Joe Goode Performance Group, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Thick Description and Shotgun Players. He has collaborated with many well known directors, writers and choreographers: Tom Ross, Octavio Solis, Joy Carlin, Marcus Gardley, Michael Butler, Corey Fisher, Aaron Davidman, Tony Kelly, Amy Mueller, Joe Goode, John O’Keefe and Tazewell Thompson among others. Richard also cherishes his work with two late Bay Area theatre legends: director Albert Takazauckas, and his long association with Aurora Theatre Co. founder Barbara Oliver.
Olmsted has designed over 30 productions for Aurora, beginning with The Gin Game, and including the celebrated revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, which earned him a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nomination for Best Scenic Design.
On the faculty of Cal State East Bay since 2005, Olmsted designed scenery, lighting and projections for more than 45 productions on the University Theatre stage including The Good Person of Szechwan,The Wiz, Bat Boy, Cloud Nine, Seven Deadly Sins, Xtigone, and Tongues. He has mentored student designers on dozens of productions, many who presented their work at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Prior to his appointment at CSUEB, Olmsted taught scenic design at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Mills College; and technical theatre production at both Las Positas College and Holy Names University.
Olmsted earned his B.A. from Reed College, and M.F.A. in Scenic and Lighting Design from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829, the union of professional stage designers..