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Designer In The Spotlight

Designer in the Spotlight – Barber of Seville 2021 & Albert Herring 2022

Bettina John

Bettina John is an international set and costume designer for theatre, opera, dance and music originating from Germany, where she graduated from a fashion design degree in 2007 from Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein. After having worked as a costume designer and maker as well as an educator and mentor for aspiring designers, she enrolled in a master program in theatre design at Wimbledon College of Art, from which she graduated in 2018. As well as working as a set and costume designer, Bettina John develops and presents work at the intersection of visual and performing arts, often outside the boundaries of the theatre space.

Photo Diary – Barber of Seville 2021 –

Junior Designer in the Spotlight 2020

Xander, Age 8

Clonter is proud to present our first ever Junior Designer in the Spotlight! Xander age 8 is the first person to complete our Explore Arts Award log. We would like to name him as our 2020 Designer in the Spotlight!

His dedication to this Explore Arts Award project has been outstanding and we are proud to share this photo diary created by him of his work with our online Clonter audience. We would also like to echo his school’s response!

“What a phenomenal amount of work has gone into this project. You have managed to use your love of the theatre as a starting point and have shown so many skills: research, design, construction, play writing, puppet operation, performing… Your attention to tiny details is great and your use of a variety of materials shows excellent creativity.” – Mrs Ameghino, Class Teacher

“This is a spectacular piece of work. I was delighted to see you using all of the important elements of design: research, exploration, experimentation, product development, construction (using many different techniques), evaluation and analysis to name but a few… I hope you continue to pursue this, as you are working at a level way above your actual age and have a spectacular gift.” – Mr Warrell, Head Teacher

Xander used a Clonter Window Sill Theatre Pack, containing scale 1:50 model box, scale 1:5 costume mannequins and an Explore Theatre Arts Log created by Clonter designers.

930 children from Cheshire and Merseyside have taken part in Clonter’s first Virtual music and design workshops this term.

All the packs are either biodegradable or made from recycled materials. Recycled eco glue sticks and sticky tape were generously donated by Tesa.

Xander’s prize was to be shared with his Classmates and comprised of this free downloadable interactive music workshop and operatic panto show called PAPAGENO’S QUEST which we would also like to share with our online audience –

Xander’s Arts Award Design Diary –

Xander’s Arts Award Design Video Diary –

Xander’s Costume Design Competition Video Diary –


Designer in the Spotlight – Musical Theatre Days & Friends Evening 2019

Jessica Staton

Jessica Staton is a designer, model, prop and puppet maker, as well as scenic artist for opera and theatre.

Jessica graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2016, and was a Linbury Prize Finalist in 2017, nominated for the Stage Debut Design Award for ‘Extra Yarn’ (Orange Tree Theatre).

Photo Diary – Musical Theatre Days 2019 –


Designer in the Spotlight – The Marriage of Figaro 2017 & Don Giovanni 2019

Nate Gibson 

Nate Gibson is designer for opera, theatre, and dance in the US and UK.

Graduated from Alfred University (NY) in Interdisciplinary Art, Nate then moved to the UK to complete the MA in Design for Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). He has since been living and working primarily in London.

Photo Diary – Don Giovanni

Production Photos – Don Giovanni

Photo Diary – The Marriage of Figaro

Set Design Pictures – The Marriage of Figaro

Production Photos – The Marriage of Figaro


Designer in the Spotlight – La bohème 2018

Grace Venning

Grace is a designer for performance based in London and currently undertaking a full-time assistant residency in the National Theatre’s design studio. In 2019 she was a finalist for the JMK Award with Jocelyn Cox, and for the inaugural Naomi Wilkinson Award for Stage Design with Told by an Idiot. She graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Design for Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2017.

“Theatre makes us less alone. It brings us together and it shares stories. Design is a powerful means of uniting audience, performer, narrative and atmosphere.

I have an intellectual, discursive and collaborative approach to design based on thorough textual analysis, which stems from wide-reaching interests in art, history, literature and politics. I have a particular interest in the relationship between gender, race, disability, climate and queer politics and performance.

Now more than ever, theatre needs to keep pushing boundaries, providing platforms for oppressed voices, and creating environments where disparate groups of people come together to think and to feel. I want to be a part of making that happen.”

Designer in the Spotlight – La traviata 2016

Eleanor Wdowski

Eleanor Wdowski’s Designer Photo Diary – The creative process behind Clonter’s 2016 production of La traviata

Theatre Design Exhibition 2017 – A guided tour by the designer around the exhibition