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Mary Houston

Mary Houston

Assistant Professor of Theatre Design & Technology

School of Theatre Arts and Dance
College of Performing and Visual Arts

Contact Information


Professor Houston holds her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing concentration from the University of Tennessee at Martin and her M.F.A. in Scenic Design from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Professional/Academic Experience

Professor Houston has taught as an adjunct instructor for theatre in properties and design at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Syracuse University. Since arriving at UNC, she has taught design and technology classes in Drafting, Props, Stage Management, Scenic Design, History of Style and Décor, Orientation to Design, Orientation to Technology, Stage Make-Up, Design Fundamentals for Secondary Education and Senior Seminar. In addition, Professor Houston advises students in scenic design, props, and stage management.

From 1994-2011, Professor Houston lived and worked in NYC, with credits in theatre, opera, film, and television. Scenic design credits include Broadway Bares (from 2001-2010), Associate Scenic Designer for Eduardo Sicangco on “Disney on Ice: Princess Classics,” scenic designs in NY and regionally include productions for the York Theatre Company, 29th Street Repertory Theatre, Anchor Theatre Company, Amas Musical Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (MA), York Theatre Company, the Julliard School, Neighborhood Playhouse, Stella Adler Conservatory, Pirate Playhouse (FL), Rockwell Productions (PA), Seacoast Repertory Theatre (NH). Design assistant credits include multiple shows with Eduardo Sicangco, James Morgan, and Harry Feiner.

Professor Houston began her theatre career as a scenic painter for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in NC in 1992. Other credits in painting include work with the Irish Repertory Theatre, York Theatre Company, Crossroads Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan School of Music, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Gateway Playhouse.

TV and Film credits include Art direction for “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” Art direction/prop shopper for “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet,” Assistant art director on “The Dr. Oz Show,” art department for “The Brini Maxwell Show,” set dressing p.a. for “A Beautiful Mind” feature film.

Prop Master credits in NY include “Uncle Vanya” and “Three Sisters” with Austin Pendleton directing and “School for Lies” with Walter Bobbie directing at Classic Stage Company. Prop Master for “The Subject was Roses,” “Hamlet,” “The Constant Couple,” “The Mandrake,” “Toys in the Attic,” “Cave Dwellers,” and “Biography” at The Pearl Theatre Company, “Gypsy” at New York City Center, directed by Arthur Laurents and starring Patty Lupone, “The Other Place” designed by Eugene Lee and directed by Joe Mantello, and the Prop supervisor at Barnard College.

Other credits include Head of the Props Department for Syracuse Stage and Syracuse University Drama (60+ productions), Prop Supervisor at the Sarasota Opera, Creative Stylist at HSN in St. Petersburg, FL, Prop Master at the Chautauqua Opera, Scene Painter at the American Stage Theatre Company in FL, and Scene Painter, and Model Builder for Feld Entertainment in Florida.

Other Experience

Professor Houston has been the scenic designer on Akeelah and the Bee, The Revolutionists (for Little Theatre of the Rockies), Bernhardt/Hamlet, and Cinderella. She is the supervisor for the Prop shop and has also been the prop master on several productions.

She currently serves on the Liberal Arts Council, the Academic Technology Advisory Group, and the Deans' Faculty Advisory Council.