College of Arts and Sciences

Carol Wolfe Clay, MFA

  • Carol Wolfe Clay, MFA
    MFA, Dramatic Art - Design
    Professor, MFA in Arts Leadership (Theatre)
    Phone: 206-296-5356
    Building/Room: JEFF 401

    Teaching and Research Interests

    Classes: Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Puppetry, Performance/Production Practicum



    Professor Clay received her M.F.A. in dramatic art – design from the University of California at Davis and her B.A. in Interior Design from the California State University at Fresno. She began teaching, designing scenery & lights and production managing at Seattle University in 1986. Since that time, she has designed over 50 productions at SU.

    As a designer, Clay is interested in the developmental process of creating new work for the theatre and the use of puppets in the theatre, a fascination she has nurtured since creating a flying Babe-The-Blue-Ox for a production of Sam Shepard’s Mad Dog Blues in 1991 and participating in an intensive Henson puppetry workshop in the summer of 1994. Her designs have been seen at Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, The Empty Space Theatre, New City Theatre, Seattle International Children's Festival and the Group Theatre. She has designed the world premieres of Lauren Weedman’s Bust, Vera Wilde and The Empress of Eden. She received a 2011 City Artists Grant for "little world," a collaboration with playwright Ki Gottberg, and has created the visual worlds for other Gottberg original plays: Big Boss or the Inner Life of Everything, Ubu, Mirabelle a Breeze, and The Hairy Baby. Clay is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the professional organization for designers in the theatre, and the Puppeteers of America.

    Clay was chair of the department of fine arts from 1996-2009, a period of tremendous growth that included a tripling of student majors; new degree programs in art history, interdisciplinary arts, digital design, photography, music and the MFA in arts leadership; new studios, practice rooms and classrooms for visual art, design and music; the Hedreen and Vachon galleries; and the building of the theatre, the Lee Center for the Arts.