Ah, Wilderness!

 Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Joseph Tilford enfolds the playing area in clouds (and as night falls, in starlight). The set pieces are white, even the upright piano, underlining the sense of another reality, that perhaps what we are dreaming are should be’s or would be’s…Ah, Wilderness! is heartfelt, poetic, wonderful – and breathtakingly beautiful thanks to the efforts of Mr. Tilford…At the end, when I watch young Richard leaning casually against the porch rail, silhouetted against the night gazing at an impossibly large and radiant moon, I know the image is defying every barrier and reaching for what is human in every one of us”. Cincinnati Enquirer

The Night of the Iguana

  Resident Ensemble Players, Newark, Delaware

“…a languorous design nestled in rain forest bamboo by Joseph P. Tilford. As anyone who summers at the beach is aware, constant exposure to dampness in the forms of humidity and rain, takes its toll on wooden structures. It is easy to imagine the creaking floors and the feel of spongy wood under bare feet. Water is both the cause and relief of the oppressiveness of life at the Costa Verde.” 

Stage Magazine

My Name is Rachel Corrie

 Burning Coal Theatre, Raleigh, North Carolina

“Designer Joe Tilford’s striking set design is undeniably a work of visual art… Yellow and black-striped safety tape establishes a perimeter at the corners of the stage, and around the edges of a battleship-gray platform which rises from the center of the stage….. a large, official-looking yellow sign stretches across stage between two pipes extending from the floor to the ceiling. On it, stencil letters in all caps, several feet high, spell out the words of a warning. It reads: DO NOT PRETEND THIS DID NOT HAPPEN…As you can imagine, the impact of the sign and set fills the room.” 

Indy Week

Native Gardens

Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“…the new folks have purchased a fixer-upper, including a back yard that’s seen better days, which sits next to the old guard’s immaculately cultivated flower garden….scenic designer Joseph Tilford’s lovely set on the Guthrie’s McGuire Proscenium stage (you can practically smell the geraniums)…”

Twin Cities Pioneer Press

“Scenic designer Joseph Tilford effectively conveys the personality of the two couples with his depiction of their houses and yards. The newcomers have a rundown house with a majestic oak that fuels the Del Valle’s dreams of a native garden with indigenous plant life. In contrast, the Butley’s house and yard is immaculate and strewn with imported European flowers. To them, indigenous plants are better known as weeds. Even without meeting the couples, the audience instantly has a feel for the clash that is inevitable.”

Twin Cities Arts

King Arthur's Camelot

The Cincinnati Ballet Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

“…In this case, I’m talking about “King Arthur’s Camelot,” the Cincinnati Ballet’s spectacular world premiere production that opened Thursday at the Aronoff Center…This is not a ballet you would have seen 25 or 30 years ago. It’s a ballet that has learned from the theatricality of Broadway spectacles like “The Lion King” and “Les Misérables.” It’s one inspired by Hollywood’s over-the-top special effects. And it’s one that has learned something about no-holds-barred emotion from ... well, I’m not sure where that has come from. But it’s there. And you can’t take your eyes off of it. Nor would you want to…choreographer Victoria Morgan – also Cincinnati Ballet’s artistic director and CEO – has crafted a ballet that is long on dramatic qualities and, with the help of John Estacio’s commissioned score, Sandra Woodall’s costumes, Joe Tilford’s sets and Trad A Burns’ magnificent lighting, is able to bump up the drama to excruciating levels.”

As You Like It

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Enter the Cincinnati Playhouse’s Shelterhouse Theatre for the current production of As You Like It and you’ll immediately sense you’re going to see an unusual Shakespearean production. A glowing red carpet is contrasts with a stage curtain of verdant green, a contest of passion and nature. The many characters — 17 actors play even more roles — are appareled more contemporary than classical, with vaguely Victorian flourishes. They speak Shakespeare’s poetry of love plainly, like everyday folks, in voices neither high-falutin nor declamatory. Joe Tilford’s scenic design is theatrically minimal but cleverly inventive from start to finish…I’ve seen As You Like It many times, but Ed Stern’s final directorial outing for the Playhouse (co-staged with Michael Evan Haney) distills its warmth and goodwill better than any I’ve previously witnessed. The bitter cold of the Forest of Arden (chilled with fluorescent light) melts into a carpet of Orlando’s love poems and then lush rose petals that rain down. Stern has blessed Cincinnati audiences for 20 years, and this production is a wonderful gift of love and joy that will be remembered for years to come.”


Noises Off

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Also beautiful is the set, which rotates on a turntable twice during the production.  Joe Tilford’s gorgeous on-stage and back-stage scenes are first-rate.” 

The Sappy Critic

The Glass Menagerie

Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver, Colorado

“Not only is the play a gem is its own right, the DCPA has managed to utilize their brilliant design team to bring deeper meaning to the piece. The Ricketson theatre was all but gutted to make room for a wide-open staging, framed by fire escapes…the floors lit up like an elegant dance-floor, enhancing a simple set design by Joseph P. Tilford that was nearly void of props. Glass figurines hung smartly in front of an ever-projected image of the family's deceased father. The look of this production is just gorgeous…”

Broadway World

Twelfth Night

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

“At Playhouse, Twelfth Night is breathtaking. Stern is clearly intent on ravishing our senses. Set designer Joseph Tilford, who held us spellbound in a glistening neverland two years ago for Ah, Wilderness! again chooses a timeless setting, this time inspired by elements air, earth and water. “

Cincinnati Enquirer