ATX Designers

Everybody knows Austin in one artsy town (song writers, galleries, crafty people at farmer’s markets), but when was the last time you heard about an Austin theatre designer? We believe they are Austin’s best kept secret. Each quarter, we will share a different costume, scenic, or lighting designer on this page. Some will have designed shows that you can see downtown next week, and some design for theatres around the country. But they all make their homes here in Austin. Lucky us!

ATX Designer of the Quarter:

Michael B. Raiford, designer & more!


MICHAEL B. RAIFORD is a scenic designer, costume designer, show creator and director based in Austin, Texas. Locally, his work has been seen at Ballet Austin, ZACH Theatre, Austin Lyric Opera, Hyde Park Theatre and The Rude Mechanicals.


Michael has also had the pleasure of creating for many artistic companies including: South Coast Repertory, The Alliance Theatre (GA), City Theatre (PA), Arizona Theatre Company (AZ)N, Cleveland Playhouse (OH), Geva Theatre Center (NY), Playmakers Repertory Theatre (NC), Kansas City Repertory Theatre (MO), Maltz Jupiter Theatre (FL), Ford’s Theatre (D.C.), New Victory Theatre (NY), Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MA), The Lyric Theatre (OK), The Antaeus Company (CA) and 20 productions, including twelve world premieres, for Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY).


Additional Ballet and Opera: Kansas City Ballet, Colorado Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Opera Boston and Central City Opera (CO). Michael’s designs for “The Wizard of Oz” Ballet were honored at the Bolshoi Ballet in 2019 where they were nominated for the “Benois de la Danse.”


Michael directed “Blast: The Music of Disney,” Tokyo and National Tour of Japan. He is a creative consultant/director in architecture, advertising and (yes) marching band for DCI/WGI. 


Michael’s M.F.A. is from The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught for 10 years. He is a Member of United Scenic Artists.

To see Michael’s portfolio, visit:

Raiford Headshot.jpg

Future Featured Designers

To nominate a designer to appear in this feature, please email info[at] and type DESIGNER OF THE QUARTER in the subject line. Thank you.

September 2021: Laura M. Gonzalez, Costume Designer (pending)

December 2021: