Review excerpts from SWEENEY TODD with TheatreWorks:
" its immediacy is striking. It starts with Andrea Bechert’s wonderful set, which is loaded with
delightful bells and whistles with stunning depth and effective negative space. Certain
plays don’t always fit very well on the vast stage at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, but
certainly this one feels very intimate and dark"
"Andrea Bechert's abandoned factory leading to a subway station grabs our attention right away"
"...a bloody triumph" "...RAZOR-SHARP..."
"...the eerie whine of the sirens that opens the show, sending characters surging across the stage for the
underground shelters. Stage left is the yawning mouth of a London Underground tunnel in Andrea
Bechert's EVOCATIVE and EFFICIENT set. A spiraling iron staircase leads up to Todd's barbershop
where customers are dispatched in plain view of the audience, yet hidden from the street below. Also notable
is the rather ingenious barber's chair, which transforms with the pull of a lever into a chute, transporting the
unfortunate gentlemen conveniently through a trapdoor. The bodies pop out conveniently in Mrs. Lovett's pie
shop, where business is picking up significantly, despite war rationing."
Review excerpts from NIGHT OF THE IGUANA :
"The Night of the Iguana," is a beautifully staged piece of work. Andrea Bechert's set is a realistic portrayal
of an isolated, run-down hotel nestled among dying palm trees on the west coast of Mexico in 1940.
Link to full article
"Andrea Bechert, set designer of the TheatreWorks production, filled the stage
of the Mountain View Center for the Performance with a run-down hotel
surrounded by trees, exotic plants, an expansive two-level platform and the most
important prop: a large hammock."
Review excerpts from THE LEGACY CODES:
" Scenic designer Andrea Bechert has created A STRONG, DRAMATIC SET, dominated by a huge model
of the double helix, endless computer code crawling across a screen at the back, and some striking red
"A large, evocative double-helix sculpture dominates Andrea Bechert's
eloquently spartan, geometric set..." link to full article
Review excerpts from BAT BOY:
"When we first meet our hero, the Bat Boy, he's twitching and screeching and climbing all around Andrea
Bechert's creepy set, a cavernous emptiness of rock and darkness."
..."Bat Boy remains a smart and assured ride, shrouded in scenic designer Andrea Bechert's IMPRESSIVE
SUBFUSC SET “ which weds versatility with a playful appeal reminiscent of Sesame Street, or maybe Iron
Review excerpt from SWEENEY TODD:
" PRODUCTION STANDARDS ARE IMPECCABLE - Andrea Bechert's soaring London set has all the
bells and whistles required for this Fleet Street thriller, from the barber chair that disposes of its victims down
a trap-door chute to a creative variety of flown-in bridges that give the impression of the Byzantine city by the
"The set is brilliantly conceived by Andrea Bechert; it is at once minimal, and rich in
detail. Its economy of design leads to seamless transitions from one scene to another."
Review excerpt from WEST SIDE STORY at Cabrillo Stage:
"SCENIC DESIGN BY ANDREA BECHERT COMPLEMENTS THE ACTION PERFECTLY.
The basic set is a dark and unappealing tenement neighborhood that is strangely mesmerizing; the sub-sets
are structurally simple but complex enough to be satisfying and are moved in and out with little delay."
Review excerpt from ON THE VERGE:
"Designed by Andrea Bechert, the set is INGENIUS IN ITS SIMPLICITY, evocative at once of
mountain ranges and the unsettling vertigo that might accompany time travel. Bechert, who received the
1999 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award and the Dean Goodman Choice award for her design of
TheatreWorks' Night of the Iguana, furnished the set with little more than the three travelers' rudimentary
backpacks and their imaginations."
Review excerpt from BOOK OF DAYS:
"...sweltering summer days palpably summoned by Andrea Bechert's
vibrant-looking trees, which ring a courtyard drenched in vernal blues, against a
vista cut by an orange vein of distant mountains..."
Review excerpts from FENCES:
"Andrea Bechert's set design provides detailed realism with a rendering of the
front porch and yard of Troy's and Rose's house, convincing down to each
weathered board and fallen leaf." Link to full article
"The set, a simple old house sitting on a dirt-filled back yard, was realistically designed by Andrea
Bechert and gave us a subtle idea of the family's struggles within their yard."
Review excerpt from VOIR DIRE:
"The first thing you'll notice as you enter the theater for TheatreWorks' production of "Voir Dire" is Andrea
Bechert's set, a stark gray jury room against staggered backdrops of red brick. It feels like something out of
the 1950s, restrictive and familiar; not coincidentally, the play itself has a similar atmosphere."
Review excerpts from WEST SIDE STORY at American Musical Theatre of San Jose:
"ANDREA BECHERT'S SCENIC DESIGN RULES. The three-story brick
buildings, their lattice work of iron fire escapes, the shade-drawn, back-lit
windows, the clothes-strewn lines far aloft”this set demands exciting and far-
flung action." link to full article
"Andrea Bechert's set, a grimy landscape of dingy alleys, graffiti-tagged walls
and sooty fire escapes, nails the atmosphere of Manhattan's West Side in the late
'50s, the harsh patches of concrete where this ``Romeo and Juliet'' in the age of
rumbling street gangs and Daddy-O takes its course."
Review excerpts from DOLLY WEST'S KITCHEN:
"In its usual grand scale, TheatreWorks, with scenic designer Andrea Bechert, has created a
beautiful set design for the American debut of Dolly West's Kitchen, a play by Frank
McGuinness. Set in Ireland during World War II, the elaborate rock-walled garden framing a huge cutaway
house projects the relative comfort of the West family's lifestyle, the mystique of Ireland and the "simpler
times" we tend to envision as the 1940s." Link to full article
"Andrea Bechert's set design is almost overwhelming; the whole stage is filled with not only the kitchen
but the garden and walkways on both sides of the stage. There are rounded stone walls and fertile earth
about the outside of the cutaway kitchen which is a masterpiece of detail." Link to full article
"One look at Andrea Bechert's richly manicured kitchen set automatically tells
us we're not in the south of Ireland." Link to full article
Review excerpt from ALL MY SONS:
"The yellow clapboard Keller family home looks like a fairly ordinary version of the American dream,
Midwest style, in the TheatreWorks production of "All My Sons" -- except for the boards missing in the
upper story where the blue sky shows through. Terrible secrets will come bursting through the holes in a
house too small to contain the family's ambitions or its lies. It's a well-designed and impressively performed
production. The skewed, heightened realism of Andrea Bechert's set -- its rolling lawn, yellow walls and
profuse poplars gleaming in the golden sunshine..." Link to full article
Review excerpts for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN:
"Set design (Andrea Bechert) is phenomenal. Raising the big top at the start of the show is
breathtaking and sets the tone for the entire evening."
"The SPECTACULAR and VERSATILE set by Andrea Bechert provides a good selection of backgrounds
for the action with little wasted time for scene changes."
Excerpt from the FEATURE ARTICLE in the Arts section of The Wave Magazine (July, 2001)
"If you've seen much theatre around the Bay Area, chances are you've seen the work of Andrea Bechert.
She has designed more than 105 sets for local companies, including American Musical Theater of San Jose,
Opera San Jose, 17 shows for TheatreWorks, and a whopping 26 for Peninsula Youth Theater....
...Asked if set designer is a neglected position, Bechert cites the "30 to 50 craftsmen who actually create
what I design. Talk about people who don't get credit!"...
Review excerpt from MACBETH in the Denver Post:
"The storytelling starts before the play even begins. Andrea Bechert's gray stone set shows Macbeth's
domicile as a house of horror amid the ruins of order. It's dominated by severed stone body parts: a wrist,
possibly a middle finger and, most prominently, an enlarged head. It's the felled king of kings Ozymandias
(from the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem that condenses the fall of a civilization into just 14 lines). But it might as
well be Caesar â€” the Roman leader who's mentioned in "Macbeth" and whom, like King Duncan, was
slaughtered in a morally ambiguous power grab.
These scattered body parts are simply part of the present-day foundation and culture here. Faces of the dead
are encrusted in the walls, remnants of violence past. Those stone eyes even bleed, for blood is actually
everywhere. And why not? It runs down the winding stairs from Duncan's guest room even before he's
massacred, as if it's a stylish home-decorating choice." Link to the full article online, with photos
Review excerpts from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with TheatreWorks:
"Andrea Bechert's set depicting a street in a small, souther town is FLAWLESS"
"Andrea Bechert's BRILLIANT SET DESIGN puts forth four home-fronts, each detailed to delineate
varying economic and social standings."
"The set...is a FEAST FOR THE EYES. Detail is ASTONISHING." read the full review
"A lavish stagebound treatment...lush, epic sets...a stunning vision of Lee's work,
gorgeous but always with a hint of menace to cut the nostalgia." read the full review
"Andrea Bechert's fantastic set of cut out house fronts and gnarled trees..."
|SCENIC DESIGNER / SCENOGRAPHER
P R E S S & R E V I E W S
Review excerpts from TALLEY'S FOLLY with TheatreWorks:
" Draped with moss and honeysuckle and dappled with Steven B. Mannshardt's skillful lighting, ANDREA
BECHERT'S SET IS GORGEOUS --so painstakingly detailed you can practically feel the humidity. The set
integrates well into the space of the cozy, black-box SecondStage theater, making this already intimate play
even more invitingly so." Link to full article
"THE SET DESIGN, Eccles, Jackson and Wilson's dialogue, make TheatreWorks' season opener worthwhile"
"...Andrea Bechert's set design is EXTRAORDINARY"
Link to full article
Review excerpts from CRIMES OF THE HEART with TheatreWorks:
"Andrea Bechert’s MAGNIFICENT set design is a study in scale and nuance crowned by a
sprawling Southern manse sitting center stage. It’s a down-home palace crammed with nooks and
crannies. The meandering delights of a back porch, a sturdy tree and a wonderfully vintage mint-
green kitchen ground this TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production in a delicious sense of lived-in
complexity. Everywhere you look on this set, there are new layers to explore."
"There is much to like about the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production of Beth Henley's "Crimes of the
Heart," from the Pulitzer Prize-winning script to Andrea Bechert's GORGEOUS scenic design."
"The humor is apparent before the show even starts, thanks to Andrea Bechert’s trinket-besotted set.
The Magraths’ home is one in which ornamental plates hang on the wall next to a fly swatter,
as if a filthy, banal instrument of death were also a priceless family heirloom.."
"Andrea Bechert has created a 1974 Southern home that still has furniture and fixtures from the 1950s
and '60s—so full of details and oddities that it is a shame we as audience cannot go up afterwards to
prowl around the wide-open rooms and back porch. "
"Andrea Bechert is the Scenic Designer, and the Mississippi home where the play is set was just
INCREDIBLE in detail, and an unfathomable amount of work was put into it."
Review excerpts from SISTERS MATSUMOTO with CenterRep:
"Just one look at Andrea Bechert’s set speaks volumes — a partially deconstructed house
with an elegant interior and run-down exterior, as if past and present were coexisting side by side.
Some of the walls are missing so that the arch of the roof and a second-floor window hang in
"Andrea Bechert's scenic design is WONDERFUL..."
"Andrea Bechert’s single set beautifully captures the look of the farm house and its
surroundings, and director Mina Morita assembles the other staging elements to create an
impression of the Central Valley of the time"
Review excerpts from THE COUNTRY HOUSE with TheatreWorks:
"Director Robert Kelly lets the energy build almost imperceptibly, giving the audience a chance to soak
in the EXQUISITE SET by Andrea Bechert, a completely believable cross between a well appointed
Berkshires summer homes and a post-war California ranch. This set, with its spacious view of the
Berkshire woods, is important because like most Margulies’ plays, what happens offstage, and who
enters and exits this world is always paramount."
Review excerpts from FUN HOME with TheatreWorks:
Feature article in the San Jose Mercury News: Headline: “Fun Home’ set
designer brings her own memories to memory play”. First line of article reads:
“With a tough coming-out story of her own, San Jose State University professor
and scenic designer Andrea Bechert found more than just work as she designed the
sets for “Fun Home.” Full article found here Published October 4, 2018
Review excerpts from NATIVE GARDENS with TheatreWorks:
“Andrea Bechert’s stunning set makes a big impression when you enter the Mountain
View Center for the Performing Arts. It brings to life two backyards divided down the middle of the stage,
one with an immaculately manicured garden with topiary and an unnaturally regular lawn, and the other more
or less a patch of dirt, all possibility and nothing more, sheltered by a big friendly tree. These two yards
are, in a way, the stars of the show.” link to full article
“…before any of the principal characters ever appear on stage, Andrea Bechert's impressive
scenic design transports the audience to the Washington, D.C. suburb the playwright has imagined.
Bechert teaches design and technology at San José State University. If there are any students reading this who
want to learn about stagecraft, they should sign up for one of her classes. Bechert created the backyard
facades of two adjacent brick homes. They summon up the milieu of a stately East Coast neighborhood, and
what that neighborhood represents. These evocative two-story houses are so tall they reach up to the theater
rafters. One yard's manicured lawn is lined with purple iris and hydrangea. The window shutters are painted a
cheerful blue. The shutters on its twin next door have been neglected. Weeds poke up from the earth, and the
limbs of a giant oak tree stretch far and wide. When the characters do enter the stage from their respective
back doors, these exterior signs line up with the interior lives of both couples.” Link to full article
“Just one look at Andrea Bechert’s set speaks volumes — a partially deconstructed house with
an elegant interior and run-down exterior, as if past and present were coexisting side by side. Some of the walls
are missing so that the arch of the roof and a second-floor window hang in midair.” Link to full article
“Andrea Bechert’s magnificent set design is a study in scale and nuance crowned by a sprawling
Southern manse sitting center stage. It’s a down-home palace crammed with nooks and crannies. The
meandering delights of a back porch, a sturdy tree and a wonderfully vintage mint-green kitchen ground this
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley production in a delicious sense of lived-in complexity. Everywhere you look
on this set, there are new layers to explore.” Link to full article
“The set, by Andrea Bechert, is one of the most beautiful I've seen; each yard a thing of
detailed wonder and full of realistic botanicals….” Link to full article