Brandon Stirling Baker Earns Tony Nomination

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The Tony Award nominations, which honor excellence in live Broadway theater, were announced on April 30 with lighting designer and CalArts alum Brandon Stirling Baker (Theater BFA 10) among the nominees.

Baker has built an international portfolio working in opera, dance, and theater, and his Tony nomination for the lighting design of the new musical Illinoise features work with frequent collaborator Justin Peck, who directed, choreographed, and wrote the book with Jackie Sibblies Drury. The coming-of-age show is based on the 2005 album Illinois by indie musician Sufjan Stevens.

Peck and Baker have collaborated on more than 30 premieres worldwide since 2010, including Dig the Sky and Copland Dance Episodes for the New York City Ballet. Baker currently serves as the lighting director for the Boston Ballet.

Also nominated this year was 2023 Herb Alpert Award recipient for Theater Whitney White for Best Direction of a Play for Jaja’s African Hair Braiding. Like other Alpert theater winners, White will have a residency at CalArts.

Presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, the 77th annual Tony Awards ceremony will be broadcast from the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on Sunday, June 16 at 5 pm PT on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ in the US.

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PUBLISHED BY Christine N. Ziemba

Christine is the director of Content at CalArts, responsible for the Institute's editorial in both print and online platforms. In addition, she oversees CalArts' social media accounts. In her spare time, she writes about the Santa Clarita food scene at

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