Purchase College to Honor Technical Theatre Legend Joseph B. Forbes

Purchase College, State University of New York’s Broadway Technical Theatre History Project, will present the Sixth Annual Broadway technical “Backstage Legends and Masters Award” to esteemed theater legend, Joseph B. Forbes at 7 p.m.. April 24, 2017.

Forbes joins previous Backstage Legends and Masters honorees Artie Siccardi (2012), Arnold Abramson (2013), Fred Gallo (2014), Gene O’Donovan (2015), and Pete Feller, Sr. (2016).

As the founder of Scenic Art Studios in 1990, Forbes has been one of the most prolific and influential artists of any time. His work is represented in the vast majority of Broadway productions mounted each year. Some of his recent productions include Waitress, Beautiful, Paramore, In Transit, The Humans, and Shuffle Along. His anticipated upcoming productions include Hello Dolly and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“To say that Joseph Forbes is one of the all time greats is an understatement,” said Dan Hanessian, associate professor at Purchase, who launched the Broadway Technical Theatre History Project in 2011. “Not only is he a master of scenic painting, he is a teacher—dedicated to inspiring and influencing the next generation. We are honored to have Joseph Forbes as a faculty member in our Design/Technology Program, where he shares his superb knowledge and teaches scene painting and rendering. ”Hanessian trains up-and-coming technical directors and production managers in the Design/Technology Program of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase.

The free event will take place in the Performing Arts Center on the College’s campus at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY. It will be webcast live and archived for future viewing.

About Joseph B. Forbes

Forbes studied scene design at the University of North Carolina Greensboro where he earned a BFA in Scene Design. Upon moving to New York, he attended Lester Polakov's Studio and Forum of Stage Design. Forbes has had a long career as a professional Scenic Artist working in New York on projects ranging from theatre, ballet, film, and television, to theme parks, restaurant interiors and permanent displays. He started at Nolan's Scenery Studio in 1979 and painted on many of the iconic productions of that era including AnnieCatsA Chorus Line, Evita, and 42nd Street. His credits in film include Ghost Busters, Crocodile DundeeThe Money Pit, among others. In 1994, Forbes founded Scenic Art Studios, which has become the premier scene painting studio for Broadway shows. The company has painted over 300 Broadway productions including such shows as The Producers, HairspraySpam-a-lotJersey BoysSpiderman, and Book of Mormon.  Concerned that many of the centuries-old scene painting techniques were being lost, Forbes founded the Studio and Forum of Scenic Art in 2004, to preserve the teachings of the legendary Polakov Studio. 

For more information about the College, visit www.purchase.edu


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