Marketplace Feature
Building the Worlds of Broadway Theatre

OBIE Award
The Village Voice: Obie’s-Honored Set Designers Took Us To The Moors, Vietnam – and New Jersey

2015 Fall Season
Theatremania: In His Own Words: Dane Laffrey Creates Sets for Spring Awakening, Fool for Love, and More

AMERICAN HERO
The New York Times: Dane Laffrey on His Set for American Hero

GOD OF CARNAGE
The Boston Globe: For Huntington’s God of Carnage, Pristine Design Creates the Perfect Habitat for Destruction

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

The New York Times: Ravaged but Resilient: Creating Once on This Island

The Broadway.com Show: Set Designer Dane Laffrey in Creating the Resilient, Immersive World of Once On This Island

Theatremania: How Broadway’s Once on This Island Was Designed at the Mercy of Mother Nature

Broadway World: Dane Laffrey Talks About His Tony-Nominated Once On This Island

Playbill: Award-winning scenic designer Dane Laffrey shares the facts, hidden details, and Haitian inspiration behind his genius concept

GoldDerby: Tony Nominee Dane Laffrey Video Interview

Live Design: The 2018 Tony Nominees: Dane Laffrey’s Set Designs for Once On This Island

Playbill: Get Up Close With the Set and Props of Broadway’s Once On This Island

Broadway By Design: Dane Laffrey & Clint Ramos Bring Once On This Island from Page to Stage

On Stage: Ravaged but Being Rebuilt – A Talk with Once On This Island Scenic Designer Dane Laffrey

Lighting and Sound America: A revelatory new revival of Once On This Island tests the mettle of its design team

Awards Daily: Dane Laffrey On Using Elements for Once On This Island

Broadway World: Zooming in on the Tony Nominees: Dane Laffrey

Pop-Culturalist Chats with Once On This Island Set Designer Dane Laffrey

Broadway Box: Tony Nominee Dane Laffrey Shares the Secrets & Stories Behind His Once On This Island Revival Set

Times Square Chronicles: Meet Dane Laffrey The Set Designer of Once On This Island and Summer and Smoke

“Gorgeous. A Ravishing Revival…What a big, bold delight it is to enter the world of Once On This Island.. the scenic design, a dense bricolage of found objects by Dane Laffrey keeps revealing new surprises. At a certain point you may think you’ve spotted them all, but have you looked under the sand?”

-Jesse Green / THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)

“Enter the subterranean theater and we know instantly we’re not in New York anymore. The designers Dane Laffrey (set) and Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting) have turned one of Broadway’s most intimate yet challenging spaces, in which the audience surrounds the playing area as in an arena, into a fractured paradisiac vision, unlike any cruise-ship commercial. Debris-strewn and junk-heaped…, it purposely and powerfully evokes the wrenching scenes of devastation wrought by hurricane Maria and the marginal seaside villages laid waste by earthquakes and storms. An overturned dinghy, rusted oil barrels, fishing nets and plastic crates pock the sand as denizens and demi-gods emerge from the morning fog in the sprawling opening number, “We Dance.”

-Jeremy Gerard / DEADLINE

“My season started with director Michael Arden and choreographer Camille A. Brown’s spirited and uplifting revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s 1990 musical Once on This Island, at Circle in the Square, set on an island in the French Antilles (atmospherically evoked by set designer Dane Laffrey)…”

-Hamish Bowles / VOGUE

“Outside Circle in the Square, the winter winds are starting to snap. But inside a different wind is blowing — literally. In Michael Arden’s vivid, celebratory revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once on This Island, the elements have been brought indoors. A blanket of sand covers the long oval floor of Dane Laffrey’s lush, immersive set. A pool of water contained by a sandbag embankment fills one end of the stage. A fire burns in a rusted oil drum. A child plays in the sand. A man fishes in the pool. Someone starts cooking on a makeshift hot-plate stove… Later, a thick white fog rolls through the space as the cast light candles, giving the effect of stars piercing through a heavy cloud. And in the staging of a storm, not only do electric pulses of lightning flash in the darkness — gusts blow through the audience’s hair. The experience of Once on This Island is both gorgeously sensual — you can almost feel the humidity in the theater — and evocative of something all too real, common, and devastating. Arden, Laffrey, and costume designer Clint Ramos have created a hurricane-racked world, a community of survivors, subsisting and rebuilding in the face of repeated ruthless natural disasters. New Orleans, Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico — they’re all present in the tone and texture of this revival, and the acknowledgement feels not only responsible but fitting.”

-Sara Holdren / NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“The ungainly in-the-round stage of Broadway’s Circle in the Square is put to imaginative use in director Michael Arden’s inspired revival of “Once On This Island,” the 1990 musical by Lynn Ahrens (book & lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music).  The imaginative physical design extends to the auditorium, where colorful laundry hangs on the side walls and luxurious vegetation blooms. Everything about Dane Laffrey’s immersive set design welcomes the audience to the little island in the French Antilles where this pretty but sad fable is set.”

-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY

“The portrait of the French Antilles that is conveyed by Dane Laffrey’s setting and Clint Ramos’ costumes is grittier — think less waving palm trees and sparkling waters, and more Oxfam T-shirts and Doctors Without Borders. The portrait of the French Antilles that is conveyed by Dane Laffrey’s setting and Clint Ramos’ costumes is grittier — think less waving palm trees and sparkling waters, and more Oxfam T-shirts and Doctors Without Borders… Laffrey has found room for a river of water, the back of a truck, the mist of dreams, enough candles for a Bed Bath & Beyond and, of course, a life-size manifestation of the great tree of knowledge from where Ti-Moune will look down upon the generations that follow. Still, the sculpted live-ness of the conceit makes for a very au courant and youth-friendly staging at this most intimate of Broadway theaters, and Laffrey and Arden join with the choreographer, Camille A. Brown, at times quite beautifully, to de-other the other, to afford the warmest welcome to all, and help the young and the more cynical all believe in the healing power of Ti-Moune’s loving persistence.”

-Chris Jones / CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Walking into Broadway's Circle in the Square and taking in the environmental staging of the lovingly crafted Once on This Island revival — with an upturned boat on the edge of a sandbagged pool of water, ensemble members milling barefoot around a steel-drum fire, shoes and clothing hung out to dry all over the theater, medics tending to the sick and a live goat weaving its way among the cast — the visual association hits you instantly. The vivid scene is impossible to separate from recent news footage of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, or going further back, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake…The very real devastation of those and other Caribbean islands provides a moving canvas for this enchanting fairy tale with mythic elements, set in the French Antilles… Together with his resourceful design team and cast of expressive, vocally gifted performers, Arden has approached the piece with the nurturing hand it requires — striking a balance between child-like story theater and folkloric ritual with a fantastical dash of dangerous voodoo… Arden and set designer Dane Laffrey, aided by the evocative lighting of Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, conjure a world of elegance by revealing a carpet in the sand and suspending a handful of real-flame candelabras. The atmosphere is one of magic and romance, with Ramos breaking out bold colors in his opulent gowns for the women

-David Rooney, / THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“This is another triumph for Arden, after his beautiful reinvention of “Spring Awakening,” with both hearing and deaf actors, seen on Broadway two years ago. No matter where you look, the theater seems busy with active life, as the evocative set design of Dane Laffrey and the… costumes of Clint Ramos help draw a vibrant portrait of life on an island in which the darker-skinned black masses live in extreme poverty, while a small, lighter-skinned elite, partly descended from French colonists, live behind metaphorical and literal gates.”

-Charles Isherwood / BROADWAY NEWS

“This Island‘s other big winner has to be its set. Theatergoers step in from the cold to find a sand-covered stage populated with actors milling about and parading a live goat up and down the aisles (yes, a live goat), while shirts, shorts, and sandals are strung on clothing lines around the perimeter of the theater. You’ll almost wish you could kick off your shoes and go down to join them.”

-Breanne L. Heldman / ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“Director Michael Arden (Deaf West’s “Spring Awakening”) and set designer Dane Laffrey do a grand job of transforming the in-the-round stage of Circle in the Square Theatre into a Caribbean beach to recount the ill-starred love of a disadvantaged orphaned girl (Hailey Kilgore) for a boy (Isaac Powell) from a rich island family.”

-Peter Marks / THE WASHINGTON POST

“After seeing the imaginative and dynamic Once on This Island, you may feel that once is not enough. Michael Arden’s immersive revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s 1990 musical is staged in the round and constantly on the move…—Dane Laffrey’s sandy set suggests the aftermath of a natural disaster”

-Adam Feldman / TIME OUT NEW YORK

“I was enraptured by the revival I just saw. As directed by Michael Arden and featuring a vibrant ensemble, it sings, it floats, and it soars. he stage happens to be covered with sand and debris, and the theater walls are lined with hanging laundry, in a fascinatingly atmospheric set designed by Dane Laffrey. “

-Michael Must / LOGO TV

"For most of the musical, you are utterly enveloped and enchanted. The audience watches the performers in the round, and so Dane Laffrey’s wonderful design (illuminated by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer’s effective lighting) really does feel like an island, with its floor of sand, pool of water, upturned boats, and simple corrugated gates…”

-Tim Teeman / THE DAILY BEAST

“When you enter the theater to see Once On This Island, you immediately understand that this show is going to be something un like anything else you’ll see on Broadway…it’s full of life and joy, even before the show begins, and it begs you implicitly to buy in and let yourself journey to another location with your imagination. Michael Arden stages this fairy tale that takes places on a Caribbean island at a time when so many people are looking for a distraction. Designers Dane Laffrey and Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer seem to achieve the impossible in that way, transforming a theater into a far-off place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see.”

-Danny Groner / HUFFINGTON POST

“Broadway’s only theatre-in-the-round, Circle in the Square is already a kind of island, one scenic designer Dane Laffrey ingeniously transforms into an actual one. Sand fills a stage surrounded by seating on all sides (and water on one), the scent of burnt garlic wafts through the air, there’s even a live goat (!). That visceral quality suffuses every aspect of Arden’s production…”

-Naveen Kumar / TOWLEROAD

“In Dane Laffrey's scenic design, this beach is strewn with detritus and wreckage. A telephone pole, marked with graffiti, is on the ground. A medic walks about treating the beach's residents. Clearly, a hurricane has hit, with familiar consequences. This is, as we are told, a place “eternally at the mercy of the gods…”

-Edward Rothstein / WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Broadway’s bewitching revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s “Once on This Island” is filled with beauty. The ravaged set, meanwhile, appears to have seen better days. Make no mistake: That’s by design.”

-Joe Dziemianowicz / NY DAILY NEWS

“Theatre-in-the-round is always a big challenge to stage, but the dazzling revival of "Once On This Island," currently ensconced in the Circle in the Square Theatre, feels right at home — and long may it live. Arden's vision weaves together island culture, the have-nots and the haves, with remarkably inventive artistry. From the set, complete with a body of water, to the phenomenal ensemble, every piece of this production pulses with an organic exuberance that's impossible to resist.”

-Roma Torre / NY 1

”This revival of “Once On This Island” provides an aesthetic experience unlike anything else on Broadway. Upon walking into the new production, you are greeted by trash, old tee-shirts hanging on the walls, a small pool of water leading offstage, a live chicken and goat, and the cast meandering around the stage, which is completely covered in sand. They are wearing everything from bathing suits to table cloths to school uniforms to jean shorts. Most importantly, they are all barefoot. They have sand in their toes, they stand in the water, they walk with the goat, they run on the beach, they climb through the trash. Before the show has even begun, the musical has a vibe, a tone, a feeling, a smell, a sensation, an aesthetic. The actors can feel it, but more importantly, the audience can feel it. The aesthetic was clear and incredibly well curated by the designers: costumes by Clint Ramos, set by Dane Laffrey, lighting by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer”

-Christian Lewis / HUFFINGTON POST

“Miraculous things happen when you corral a team of talented artists and let them loose in a sandbox. Not a metaphorical sandbox — a literal pit of sand that gets kicked around, rained upon, and trampled by a wandering goat throughout Michael Arden's chill-inducing revival of Once on This Island at Circle in the Square Theatre. Whoever cleans up Dane Laffrey's ambitious set after every performance does not have an enviable job, but the muddy wreckage left behind feels akin to the scars rendered by a life well lived.”

-Hayley Levitt / THEATREMANIA

 

SPRING AWAKENING
Fashionista.com: With Spring Awakening’s Return to Broadway, its Period Costumes Get a Contemporary Refresh

"Quite simply Spring Awakening is one of the most perfectly conceived, cast and executed productions of a musical on any stage anywhere in the world...Dane Laffrey's scenic and costume design is fantastic and fantastical. The huge stage is used from top to bottom. Great swathes of metal and gangways and ladders provide a sense of an Industrial Age, one committed to routine, strictures and ritual. Homes, classrooms and barns are represented easily, so there is a fluidity about the design which matches the pulse of the music and the speed with which the youngsters must adapt and change. The final image, a design coup from Laffrey which cannot but touch the hearts of all who see it, will haunt and embolden you for the rest of your life."
-Stephen Collins / BRITISH THEATRE
 
"Thrillingly inventive...a first rate production of a transporting musical...stark set and spiffy, (mostly) period costumes, both by Dane Laffrey..."
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)
 
"The orchestra, under the musical direction of Jared Stein, is ingeniously arrayed. Several musicians are tucked away in the upper reaches of Dane Laffrey's mesmerizing cat-walk-strewn set...this version of Spring Awakening must go down as a rousing success Beyond the enthralling scenic design, the production has a youthful ensemble vigor that reanimates the joyful sense of discovery while recalling the anxiety, sorrow and disillusionment that are every bit as much a part of growing up."
-Charles McNulty / THE LOS ANGLES TIMES
 
"There is much that is simply a beautiful way of expressing the story's inner life. (The final image is a knockout.)"
-Jesse Green / NEW YORK MAGAZINE

"This intoxicating production kicks the power of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's propulsive musical into a higher sphere altogether...Dane Laffrey's elemental set gives the show room to breathe (Laffrey's costumes are equally and restrainedly suggestive)."
-Jeremy Gerard / DEADLINE
 
"The show also pays homage to its rock heritage via the costumes of the hearing alter egos who accompany some of the deaf actors onstage to voice their lines; instead of the corseted dresses and suits worn by the rest of the cast, these actors sport leather jackets and eye-catching jewelry, emphasizing the story's synergy with rebellion in other eras."
-Rachel Kolb / THE ATLANTIC
 
"But this Awakening reminds us that artists use many different tools, in serve of a greater goal. It's a darkly sumptuous, ultimately uplifting feast for the ears and eyes."
-Elysa Gardner / USA TODAY
 
"Little can contain the new, electrifying version of Spring Awakening, now on Broadway. Ben Stanton's achingly gloomy lighting and Dane Laffrey's scaffolding-and-ladders scenic design both work well. The use of a mirror and a blackboard are sublime."
-Mark Kennedy / ASSOCIATED PRESS

"Aided by inspired and precise lighting by Ben Stanton, and by Dane Laffrey's smartly repressed costuming and somber scenic design with a gorgeous surprise at the end, the brilliant direction and choreography turn Spring Awakening into something really special and new."
-John Sobel / BLOG CRITICS
 
"It ranks among the most emotionally charged renderings of a musical to come to Broadway in the past decade...you'll be goggling at the visual wonders..."
-Terry Teachout / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
"Arden's production unfolds on a stage that designer Dane Laffrey has stripped to the wings. Visually it enhances the character's emptiness and helplessness. Laffrey has opted to dress the company predominantly in period costume. The exceptions are the casual contemporary street attire that Boeck and Boniello wear: design choices that beautifully bridge the nineteenth century world of the story with Sheik's contemporary rock score."
-Andy Propst / AMERICAN THEATRE WEB
 
"Arden's revival is visually stunning, emotionally poignant and thoroughly exciting..."
-Matt Windman / AM NEW YORK

"For most of the show, the band remains integrated into the shadows of Dane Laffrey's industrial-looking set, whose steel walls and rolling stairs look more like a 20th-century power station than a German boys' school."
-Peter Debruge / VARIETY
 
"Big ups to the excellent scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey..."
-Winnie McRoy / EDGE NEW YORK

 THE MAIDS

"You can practically inhale the aroma of the gladiouluses flooding the plush bedroom where Jean Genet's eerie psychodrama "The Maids" is set...The audience is arranged in a few tight rows on three sides of the boudoir upholstered in blood-red fabric. Peek-a-boo holes are cut in the walls of the bedroom, exquisitely designed by Dane Laffrey, and as you observe the strange ritual being enacted by a pair of seriously unhinged domestics, you can also take in the spectators opposite, complicit voyeurs like yourself."

-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
"Dane Laffrey's set, a gorgeous life-sized diorama around which the audience sits like literal flies on the wall, is a work of art..."
-Nat Cassidy / NYTHEATRE.COM
 
 "Director Jesse Berger and set designer Dane Laffrey have placed the audience in banks on either side of the enclosed, gauntlet-like set, where we peer at the actors - and each other - through what feels like an interrogation room's one-way glass."
-Scott Brown / NEW YORK MAGAZINE
 
"The audience is ranged along both sides of the set, making us voyeurs peering through long, horizontal bedroom windows at Dane Laffrey's plush, elegant, yet claustrophobic set."
-Jennifer Farrar / ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
"It all starts with the set. In Berger and scenic designer Dane Laffrey's concept, Madame's bedroom is a box-like boudoir plopped in the middle of the venue, with the audience surrounding it on all four sides. The cast members move about as if in a claustrophobic hothouse."
-Elisabeth Vincentelli / NEW YORK POST
 
"The action for this energetic revival unfolds within the confines of a plywood cube containing an ornate, mirror-dotted, incarnadine boudoir into which the audience peers from four sides. It's a handsome and rather ingenious creation from set designer Dane Laffrey..."
-Andy Probst / BACKSTAGE
 
"On Dane Laffrey's masterfully conceived set - as beautifully ornate as it is confining - the women wile away their days creating elaborate fantasies where they alternate stepping into the shoes of their demanding mistress..."
-Chris Kompaneck / THEATREMANIA
 
"On a technical level the show is a triumph. The set by Dane Laffrey, is constructed in the round (or should I say, in the rectangle) with Madame's lavish, flower-bedecked bedroom flanked on all four sides by audience members who peep in through "windows" in the wall. Simply and effectively, this emphasizes the undercurrents of the show. It's great fun to see the maids tussling on the bed while audience members on the side lean over to peep down at them."
-Michael Giltz / THE HUFFINGTON POST
 
"In Jesse Berger's intensely intimate revival for Red Bull Theater, a company devoted to pulse-popping classics, the audience peers through all four sides of Dane Laffrey's set, a narrow room with plush red walls. The metatheatrical layering of Genet's script withstands this voyeuristic scrutiny surprisingly well, and as THE MAIDS progresses - investigating such paradoxical themes as the power of submission, the nobility of rebellion and the beauty of crime - it gains force and crime-novel suspense."
-Adam Feldman / TIME OUT NEW YORK
 
"The production showcases a brilliantly conceived set design from Dane Laffrey that uses only a fraction of the St. Clements space...Spectators look into a room that is simultaneously elegant and tacky - and more than a little claustrophobic. Additionally, the awareness of fellow audience members who can easily be seen in this in-the-round configuration heightens the sense of theatricality that is woven into the fabric of Genet's play."
-Dan Bacalzo / THEATREMANIA

FOOL FOR LOVE

"A breathtaking production...When I saw an earlier version at Williamstown, last year, I figured it couldn't get much better. I was wrong. Ms. Arianda and Mr. Rockwell provide plenty of injury-courting action as they bounce off the walls of Dane Laffrey's last-chance motel room set...This beautiful, taut production never slackens its hold."
-Ben Brantley / THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)
 
"Arianda vividly embodies the conflict between May's sensuality and shame as she bounces from the bed to the bathroom door of the shabby motel room, which in scenic designer Dane Laffrey's rendering looks like a cross between a trailer home and a prison cell."
-Charles McNulty / THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
 
"May has been hiding out in a ratty motel in the Mojave Desert. It's the kind of place where you go to blow your brains out. The kind of place where a wheezy ghost known only as The Old Man sits on the porch to watch."
-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY
 
"Dane Laffrey, the set designer, has situated the action of the play in a shallow, low-ceilinged wooden box that forces Ms. Arianda and Mr. Rockwell to spend much of their time standing in profile to the audience. They look like a lanky pair of parentheses and act like two rabid dogs in heat"
-Terry Teachout / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

"Physically, it is just about perfect, especially the lighting design by Justin Townsend, which creates its poetic effects (as the play does) from the most concrete situations."
-Jesse Green / NEW YORK MAGAZINE
 
"Set designer Dane Laffrey fashions this forgotten motel room with cheap furniture and linoleum floors. The chairs are made of teal vinyl on metal, offering a slight refute from the oppressive yellowness dominating the stage. Justin Townsend bathes everything in a sickly incandescent light, giving the walls the jaundiced appearance of a book left open for decades. This depressing human terrarium is the habitat of May..."
-Zachary Stewart / THEATERMANIA
 
"...the seedy, barely furnished room -- a solid achievement by the designer Dane Laffrey -- is occupied by Eddie and May who are seen, as the lights go up, in a tableau of profound stillness. In addition to Laffrey's wide, low-ceilinged interior, Justin Townsend's lighting is a many-layered beauty, making use of the practical lamps on stage and the light from the parking lot outside the room to create a desolate, noirish landscape."
-David Barbour / LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA
 
"They are grounded in a solid reality within an excellently planned space from the amazing scenic designer, Dane Laffrey. The set evokes countless thoughts and feelings to analyze as its own entity, and then once again as part of the collaboration with the characters who are drinking and kissing and fighting there."
-Shoshana Roberts / THE EASY

"[A] knockout production...They're in one of those motel rooms that time forgot (Dane Laffrey did the set), on the edge of the Mojave dessert...Every technical aspect underscores a paradoxical sense of a fatal connectedness and isolation."
-Ben Brantley / NEW YORK TIMES
 
"Director Aukin conjures a bleakly claustrophobic atmosphere and adds small touches that escalate the tension and keep the audience on edge..."
-Don Aucoin / THE BOSTON GLOBE
 
"Dane Laffrey has fashioned an appropriately bland, neglected motel room with a bed, a table with a few chairs, some high small windows that look papered over, and a broad picture window that looks out onto the dark, inhospitable parking lot..."
-Andrew Beck / THE EXAMINER
 
"The scenic design by Dane Laffrey imprisons Eddie, May and May's hapless date Martin in a sordid shoe box of a motel room, positioned off kilter..."
-Gail M. Burns / BERKSHIRE ONSTAGE

THE CHRISTIANS

"The Christians is the first important new play of the young fall season. It has been ingeniously staged by the director, Les Waters, as a stylized Sunday service. We are in a plush church somewhere in America. A giant white cross, elegantly backlit, shines from the rear wall. Beams of gleaming wood surround the glass pulpit, and digital video screens depict celestial-looking visions of clouds bathed in golden light."
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)
 
"Dane Laffrey's outstanding set design, featuring gleaming wood panels, a giant cross, and large video screens on which images of nature are projected, wouldn't look out of place on the Trinity Broadcasting Network."
-Frank Scheck / THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
 
"Dane Laffrey's set of the interior of a megachurch is all Danish Modern wood with stylized accents: a lucite pulpit, unadorned chairs, flat screens with soothing nature images, comforting gospel music and a giant cross eerily backlit (by designer Ben Stanton) and suspended from the back wall."
-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY
 
"We begin at a service at the rich but tasteful simple church (serene design by Dane Laffrey). After a live onstage choir sings, Pastor Paul, his wife, the associate pastor and a church elder take their royal blue seats."
-Linda Winer / NEWSDAY

"The Christians has been superbly staged by Les Waters on Dane Laffrey's tacky-creepy set..."
-David Cote / TIME OUT
 
"...the design work is state-of-the-art, especially Dane Laffrey's state-of-the-art megachurch sanctuary."
-Elyse Sommer / CURTAIN UP
 
"Dane Laffrey's cherry-wood sanctuary is a photographically exact rendition of the classier type of megachurch; it comes complete with projection screens for uplifting images of doves in flight and the sun peeking through the clouds..."
-David Barbour / LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA
 
"At this furnace-hot Hnath opus, thanks to Dane Laffrey's stunning version of a church interior, the entering audience immediately has the impression of wandering into a Sunday church service."
-David Finkle / THE CLYDE FITCH REPORT

 THE FEW

"The claustrophobic set, by Dane Laffrey, reminds us how very distant those years can seem to be: Clunky computers are hunkered down on the floor, and chunky monitors are squeezed onto the two working surfaces. Back issues of the newsletter are piled on every surface. Paper, paper everywhere, and not a smartphone or tablet in sight: Imagine!"
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
"When the lights come up on Dane Laffrey’s grim set of a double-wide trailer doing office duty, Bryan (Michael Laurence, convincingly haunted) and QZ (Tasha Lawrence, dukes up) are warily discussing the changes she’s made to their trucker newspaper in the four years since he walked away from it."
-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY
 
"Dane Laffrey’s set wittily evokes a whole world of just scraping by"
-Adam Feldman / TIME OUT NEW YORK
 
"all played out on Dane Laffrey's magnificently soiled, cramped set (there are even floppy discs to reflect the play's tenuous Y2K backdrop)."
-Jason Clark / ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
 
"The Few takes place in a cluttered trailer off a highway in the vast American west, sometime in 1999. Stacks of old newspapers dominate the shelves. Flying fish traverse the black screen of a chunky computer monitor. A water stain the shape of Alaska expands on the ceiling (detailed and realistic set design by Dane Laffrey)"
-Zachary Stewart / THEATREMANIA
 
"Dane Laffrey's set presents us with a shoestring operation overloaded with clutter - the pileup is at once in the way and partly invisible, like memories too difficult to sort through."
-Charles McNulty / THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
 
"Scenic designer Dane Laffrey has brought to minutely detailed life the interior of The Few’s trailer office—to call it cluttered would be a huge understatement—complete with 1999 computer relics and piles and piles of current and past issues of The Few."
-Steven Stanley / LA STAGE SCENE
 
"Dane Laffrey’s set is a disorderly wonder, replete with file boxes, floppy disks and working dinosaur computers."
-Tony Frankel / STAGE AND CINEMA

THE PATSY / JONAS

"Dane Laffrey's ingenious, pared down box set evokes a 1925 middle class living room, replete with various needlepoint cushioned chairs for Greenspan to strategically position himself during his instant shift from one character to the next. Like Greenspan's performance, the set establishes the groundwork but encourages us to fill in details. It's up to us to visualize the broad staircase, the mirror before which Grace constantly preens, the imposing front door."
-Heather J. Violanti / NYTHEATRE.COM
 
"Mr. Greenspan sets the scene himself, transforming the mundane stage directions ("Left, just below the stairs, is a small stand and a telephone...") into an involving little prologue, conjuring an imaginary set in precise detail. (The actual set, by Dane Laffrey, corresponds to Mr. Greenspan's colorful description in only a few details.)
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
"Dashing around Dane Laffrey's neat, spare set, Greenspan presents credible, often heated dialogues among as many as four characters at a time."
-Jennifer Farrar / ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
"Set designer Dane Laffrey provides a square box that is symmetrically furnished with 1920's pieces - a moderne-style credenza and fringed lamps scream the period - yet contains no windows and doors nor the staircase that the characters use in the course of the play. Such handsome yet stylized visuals underscore and also enhance the unusual nature of the presentation. Garbed in a lavender sweater and grey dress pants, Greenspan simply climbs onto the stage..."
-Michael Sommers / NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM
 
"In fact, set and costume designer Dane Laffrey has the actor nearly looking like a caged animal in a zoo, spiritedly performing for passers-by. The playing space is a cube-shaped room, elevated several feet from the floor, with no doors."
-Michael Dale / BROADWAYWORLD.COM
 
"Under Jack Cummings III's nimble direction, Greenspan evokes a full production of the play in our heads, right down to broad staircases and slamming doors, neither of which is part of Dane Laffrey's inspired environmental box set (Greenspan must leap onto it from the floor) of colorful flowered wallpaper, an elaborate parquet floor, and a selection of handsome period furnishings lining the walls."
-Erik Haagensen / BACKSTAGE
 
"Both pieces unfold within a doorless cube that is outfitted with a few pieces of period furniture (scenic design by Dane Laffrey). It's a marvelous way of not only underscoring the unique theatricality of the shows, but also showcasing the performers' exceptional work in a terrifically simple jewel box-like setting."
-Andy Probst / THEATREMANIA
 
SIXTY MILES TO SILVER LAKE

 "The car itself, designed by Dane Laffrey, is a remarkable vehicle, aided in its mostly impartial performance by Tyler Micoleau's lighting and Leah Gelpe's sound and projection design."
-Mike Kuchwara / ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
"Of course, the car itself is the third character and the one that Dane Laffrey has designed is as full of rage and nearly as brutalizing as its passengers."
-Harvey Perr / STAGE AND CINEMA
 
"...the staging includes imaginative visual flourishes - the car breaks into pieces, as if to accentuate the emotional gulf between the riders."
-Frank Scheck / NEW YORK POST
 
"It's apparent that Ky (Joseph Adams) has a decidedly uneasy relationship with his son Denny (Dane DeHann) from the moment they're discovered in Ky's car, which is effectively suggested by set designer Dane Laffrey using a skeleton of seats, side panels and rear window."
-Andy Probst / BACKSTAGE
 
"SIXTY MILES TO SILVER LAKE takes place almost entirely in a car. As tightly designed by Dane Laffrey, this is the kind of claustrophobic and inescapable space that, unlike a dining room table, forces you to converse with your parent."
-Allison Taylor / NYTHEATRE.COM
 
THE TALLS

"The set, by Dane Laffrey, with its soothing avocado-green walls and discreet piles of board games and sports paraphernalia, suggests a suburban cocoon immune to headline-making unrest."
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
"The author gets invaluable assistance from Carolyn Cantor's keen direction, period-perfect design work by Dane Laffrey (set) and Jenny Mannis (costumes) and a spot-on ensemble who looks, acts and feels like a real family."
-Joe Dziemianowicz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
 
"Set designer Dane Laffrey does a great job with his very lived-in suburban living room and kitchen (my mother had those plastic cone lampshades, and she was very proud of them too)."
-Erik Haagensen / BACKSTAGE
 
"...the period setting of young playwright Anna Kerrigan's new "The Talls" ensures some fun visuals. The show, which opened last night at Second Stage Uptown, takes place in the Bay Area in 1970, so set designer Dane Laffrey and costume designer Jenny Mannis went to town."
-Elisabeth Vincintelli / NEW YORK POST
 

TIGERS BE STILL

"Designer Dane Laffrey's cleverly utilized set gets the suburban look just right."

-Andrea M. Meek / SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY
 
"Kim Rosenstock's quirky little drama-comedy about two terminally depressed families gets the royal treatment here."
-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY
 
"...in Dane Laffrey's nifty set design, you can see the insulation in the walls."
-Adam Feldman / TIME OUT
 
*TOP 10 OF 2010, Charles Isherwood, THE NEW YORK TIMES
 
GIANT

"Scenic designer Dane Laffrey, costume designer Susan Hilferty and lighting designer Japhy Weideman are to be commended for the moods they create with a simple set of almost monochromatic sage-brush colored costumes and lighting that is exceptionally effective."
-Susan Davidson / CURTAIN UP
 
"What director Jonathan Butterell is after, here, is nothing less than a ground-up re-imagining  of Ferber's Texas-sized multigenerational saga. And he pretty much achieves that the moment you clap eyes on Dane Laffrey's stylishly sleek set: a wide, black, empty stage, a single raised platform and, suspended above the action, a thin rectangular bar of light to evoke the featureless horizon, cycling slowly through days of flat white heat, golden sunsets, and cold blue dawns."
-Glen Weldon / WASHINGTON CITY PAPER
 
"...there is a lot to love from the acting to the songs to the sets."
-Nancy Dunham / THE EXAMINER
 
AMERICAN SADNESS

"Dane Laffrey's set piece, a platform that is lowered and raised on the dimmed stage, is striking, with holes large enough to fit over a dancer's body. At times it serves as a covering; at others, when dancers are trapped inside, it represents something more binding"
-Gia Kourlas / NEW YORK TIMES
 
SEE ROCK CITY AND OTHER DESTINATIONS

"an innovative environmental production"
 -David Sheward / BACKSTAGE
 
"...one of the most intriguing pre-show environments of recent memory. Even more marvelously, the artistry displayed before the show starts never flags, creating a remarkable -- and moving -- theatrical experience...Cummings' masterful production, which takes a cue from the stagecraft of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN, unfolds on a stage that's nearly bare, except for an enormous piece of scaffolding that's placed at one corner. (Dane Laffrey has provided the spare scenic design as well as the carefully chosen, character-defining costumes.)"
 -Andy Probst / THEATREMANIA
 
"consistently imaginative staging...Here the intimate Duke Theatre has been stripped bare; the arriving audience is confronted by a veritable pyramid of beach chairs in a fog-filled square, and invited to literally take a seat."
 -Stephen Suskin / VARIETY
 
"It's not what I expected," is one of the recurring lines in the inventive "musical travelogue," the Transport Group's creative production of SEE ROCK CITY AND OTHER DESTINATIONS. The Duke on 42nd Street is altered for the outing by the informal seating of the audience all around the periphery, in beach chairs or on blankets or on the floor."
 -Jennifer Farrar / ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
LIVE ACTS ON STAGE

"powerful theatre...one of the most aesthetically pleasing plays I've ever seen."
-Phillip Wood / THE PROGRAM
 
"Striking...script, direction and design are well fused in a disturbing indictment of the futility and senselessness of conflict."
-Colin Rose / SYDNEY SUN-HERALD
 
"An extraordinary physical and visual feast..."
-Skye Crawford / BROADWAYAUSTRALIA.COM
 
SOME EXPLICIT POLAROIDS

 "...a superbly well designed production...9/10!"
-Colin Rose / SYDNEY SUN-HERALD
 
"...boldly realized by director John Sheedy and designer Dane Laffrey."
-Bryce Hallett / SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
 
"...a design that is antiseptically featureless, a vision of white tiles."
-Mark Hopkins / SYDNEY MORNING HERALD