Vale Tharon Musser

Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Tharon Musser, a Tony award-winning lighting designer who worked on more than 150 Broadway shows, passed away at age 84. Her credits include one of the longest-running Broadway musicals, A Chorus Line, which was also the first to use a completely computerized lighting console.

After graduating from Berea College in 1946, Musser earned an MFA at Yale in 1950. Her career as an LD for Broadway shows started with Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 1956 and extended until 1999.

Along with Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line, which ran from 1975 to 1990, Musser lit Gower Champion’s 42nd Street, which ran from 1980 to 1988. She received her first Tony award for Follies in 1972, followed by Tony Awards for A Chorus Line in 1976 and Dreamgirls in 1982.

Musser also received a Drama Desk nomination for Children of a Lesser God in 1980 and was named USITT’s Distinguished Lighting Designer in 1996. Musser had also worked with playwright Neil Simon and choreographer José Limón.