Thomas Umfrid

Thomas Christopher Umfrid , BA and MFA


Professor of Stage Design

Corbett Cntr Perform Arts


CCM TAPAA - 0003

Professional Summary

Professor Thomas Umfrid celebrates over four decades as a stage design professional and university theatre educator for drama, musical theatre, opera, and dance across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Since joining the College-Conservatory of Music/CCM faculty in 1987, he has worn many hats including Theatre Design and Production Department chair in the 1990’s. Currently he serves as the head of the BFA and MFA curriculums in Stage Design and is the Conservatory's senior resident designer.
Previous faculty appointments and guest scholar appointments include Interim Head of Design and Artist-in-Resident postings for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Guest Scholar and Lecturer at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Guest Fellow at the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts/WAAPA, Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota-Vermillion.
In addition to three decades of opera, drama, and musical theatre designs for CCM, he has designed for the Royal College of Music, Stages St. Louis, New Mexico Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Ballet, Stages-St. Louis, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Toledo Ballet, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. For the Manhattan School of Music, he designed the acclaimed New York City premiere of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose. His favorite CCM scenic designs include Don Giovanni, Dancing at Lughnasa, On the Town, Pelleas et Melisande, Falstaff, The Crucible (opera), Rusalka, The Ballad of Baby Doe, My One and Only, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Secret Garden, The Rake’s Progress, Don Pasqualé, Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Little Me, Assassins, The Heidi Chronicles, Chicago, Zaide (world premiere), La Boheme, Man of La Mancha, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Susannah, and The Magic Flute. Prior to his academic career he held staff positions at the Santa Fe Opera, Missouri Repertory Theater, and the Guthrie Theatre. National awards include a 1-year early career fellowship with the National Opera Institute, Washington, and 14 USITT and National Opera Association awards for stage design, creative work, and opera production. Umfrid is a proud 40-year member of United Scenic Artists 829. His studio website:


BA: California State University-Long Beach

MFA, Bush Fellow: University of Minnesota-Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN,