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About Deborah Hartwell


[email protected]
(208) 459-5250
Langroise Center 107


Costume Design, Lighting Design, Theatre History, Theatre Appreciation

Personal Statement

"We travel not to see new places, but to see with new eyes." --Marcel Proust

If there is one thing Deborah emphasizes to her design students, it’s this:

Open your eyes to all the beauty that surrounds you on a daily basis, and feed on it like a hungry beast. Pursue it like a hunter and devour it with your eyes to memorize every detail. Whether it is to look in a garbage can, or at a sunset, or at the room you are sitting in, and mine it for visual information about color, texture, shape, and that indefinable thing of beauty. This not only helps you as an artist, but as a person. If you can do this one thing, you will forever be able to see some beauty in any place you are stuck, and therefore forever be able to see your cup as half full rather than half empty. It is the single most artistically and emotionally valuable talent you can develop.

Interesting fact:  Beyond the theatre world, Deborah is a graphic designer and co-owner of a company that handles all phases of design, production, and installations. She loves to spend as much time as she can with her family at their favorite spot in the mountains.

Professional Experience

Deborah has worked at the College of Idaho in one capacity or another since 1997. As a lighting designer, costume designer, scenic designer, costume shop supervisor, and most recently, director, she holds over 300 production credits at the College of Idaho, Boise Contemporary Theatre, Opera Idaho, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Balance Dance Company, Drop Dance Collective, LED, Idaho Theatre for Youth, and has worked regionally for such theaters as Arizona Theatre Company, The Chautauqua Conservatory, The Chautauqua Opera Company, and The Gaslight Theatre. Locally, Deborah was awarded an opportunity to be a guest artist for local high schools, teaching a 4-week course in production design, thru the Idaho Commission on the Arts: Arts Education Grant, and co-produced, with Balance Dance Company, a multi-media dance piece about Chicago’s first architectural preservationist.

A few of her credits for C of I include: Lighting Design: The Passage, Season’s Greetings, History of Freaks, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Life and Limb, Macbeth, Mineola Twins, The Tempest, The House of Yes, Fiddler on the Roof, The Rover, Good Person of Szechwan, Vinegar Tom. Costume Design: The Water Engine, The Tempest, The House of Yes. Scenic Design: Lapis Blue Blood Red. Director: The Water Engine.


  • MFA., Theatre Arts - Theatre Design and Production, University of Arizona
  • B.S., Theatre, University of Evansville