Theatre Department

Faculty & Staff

Peter Ksander

Peter Ksanderhe/him
Theatre design and technology, design history.
B.A. 1998 University of Iowa.
M.F.A. 2001 California Institute of the Arts.
Reed College 2011–.
(503) 777-7355 |

Peter Ksander is a Stage Designer who holds a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Previously he has lived and worked in Brooklyn NY , Chicago IL, Iowa City, IA and Los Angeles, CA.

Design credits include scenic and/or lighting designs for: Man in a Case (Big Dance Theater, Hartford Stage,) The Brothers Size (The Public Theater, The Studio Theater in Dublin, The Old Globe), There There (Kristin Kosmas / Chocolate Factory, On The Boards,) Othello (Theater for a New Audience, Intiman Theater), On the Levee (Lincoln Center Theater 3), The Scarlet Letter, Arms and the Man(Intiman theater), A House In Bali (Bang on a Can/ Cal Performances), The Misanthrope (Portland Stage Company), Making of Americans (Walker Art Center), Laude in Urbis (Compania di Colombari, Orvieto Italy), This Place is a Desert (w/ Jay Scheib, Institute of Contemporary Art, Under the Radar Festival, MIT), Drum of the Waves of Horikawa (The Theater of a Two-Headed Calf), Stanley 2006(HERE Art Center w/ Lisa D'Amour), Saint Joan of the Stockyards (Stillpoint/PS122) and several productions for the California Institute for the Arts, including Baal, The House of Bernarda Alba and...Or the Whale (an operaic adaptation of Moby Dick by boxer Julie Crocket) His design work has appeared in the Buanos Aries in Translation Festival, at The Maison des Arts de Creteil and The Ontological Hysteric Incubator, PICA's Time Based Art Festival, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 2008 he won an Obie award for the scenic design of Untitled Mars (this title may change), created and directed by Jay Scheib and presented at PS122 and the National Theater of Hungary.

In 2014 he won a Bessie award along side the other designers for the visual design of This was the End.

Over the years he has worked with Richard Foreman (Bad Behavior, Wake Up Mr. Sleepy! Your Unconscious Mind is Dead, Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland, Astronome: a Night at the Opera, Idiot Savant), Erik Ehn (Ideas of Good and Evil, ICE: Cry me a river...), Karin Coonrod (Laude in Urbis, The Blackamoor Angel, Love's Labors Lost, Orfeo), Mark Wing-Davey (1:23, Small Tragedy, Behind the Eye, Pericles,) and Robert Woodruff (Oedipus).

Between 2001-2004 Ksander was associate scenic designer to Douglas Stein, working on projects both nationally and internationally. In 2006, Stein and Ksander begun co-designing projects, which have included: Carson Kreitzer's Behind the Eye and Lemon Andersen's County of Kings.

In 2005 Peter was a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program, through which he spent two years investigating how experimental theater ideas are explored at all levels of production in the United States.

In 2006 He joined the curatorial board of the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator and for the next five years served as a curator of new and experimental work. At that time he worked along with co-curator Brendan Regimbal to develop the SHORTFORM program, a residency for artists to explore serial and sequential performance works.

In 2011 Ksander relocated to Portland OR to take up a teaching position in Scenography at Reed College. In 2013 he was on the selection panel for the Risk/Reward festival and began working with Portland companies Hand2mouth, The Portland Playhouse and the Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble.

His work as a generative performance artist includes creating, in collaboration with other artists, performances including: Seeing the Elephant, and The Sleeping Dane Effect (a collaboration with animator Melissa Chimovitz). He is co-founder of Tiny Elephant, whose first piece, The Stupid Butterfly Project, was presented by Arts at St. Ann's, as part of Puppetlab. He is a member of TENT, a company rooted in image and performance-based ensemble generated work that questions theatrical tradition. Most recently TENT developed Ugly Children do not get Cake, a rooftop performance exploring the distance between an individual and the dreams contained in the architecture of a city. Previous projects with TENT include: Zero Winter, Oh Sweet Captain or the Ahab Stomp, Your Shipwreck is No Disaster, KG: Life in a Tin Can, and He bent his head and watched his steps, for this helped him avoid thinking.

Peter also has continuing artistic relationships with the Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, The Object Collection, Lear DeBessonet, Jay Scheib, Quinnopolis NY, Restless NYC, and Banana Bag and Bodice.