Mimi Lien


Mimi Lien

2023 Denzel Washington Distinguished Chair 
[email protected] 212-636-6303

Lowenstein 423

Classes Taught
Advanced Design

Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. 

In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first stage designer ever to achieve this distinction.  Mimi received the 2017 Tony Award for her design of Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

Selected work includes Die Zauberflöte (Staatsoper Berlin), Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), Taylor Mac’s A 24 Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann’s Warehouse & international tour), The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center Theater), Fairview (Soho Rep), Black Mountain Songs (BAM), Pelléas et Mélisande (Cleveland Orchestra), 4 Nights of Dream (Tokyo Bunka Kaikan).  Her stage designs have been presented in New York and around the country at Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, The Kitchen, Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., Mark Taper Forum, Wilma Theater, Longwharf Theatre, Goodman Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Alliance Theatre, Playmakers Rep, and Virginia Opera, among others.

Her large-scale public artworks include The GREEN, which transformed the main plaza at Lincoln Center into a grass covered public space for performance and leisure during Summer 2021, a building-wide installation for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in 2011 (La Ville Radieuse), and 2016 (2x4 tree).  Model Home, a performance installation in response to the housing crisis in San Diego, was commissioned for the 2017 Without Walls Festival at the La Jolla Playhouse.  Her design work has been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial, and her sculpture work was featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.

She is the recipient of the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center Theater, Bessie Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, and an OBIE Award for sustained excellence.  Mimi received a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University (1997) and an M.F.A. in Stage Design from NYU (2003).  Mimi is an Artist-in-Residence at the Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and is a co-founder of the Brooklyn performance/art space, JACK mimilien.com