Court Watson

Court Watson grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia and has been a New Yorker since 2003. He treasures collaboration and seeks out storytellers who work together to create something bigger than they are individually. He gravitates towards live performance with music, especially opera, musicals, and theater for young audiences. I am firmly committed to advocating for safe, respectful, inclusive, diverse spaces where we can take creative risks together without harassment or abuse. He currently serves United Scenic Artists, Local 829 membership on the Respectful Workplace Committee as well as the Costume Designers United Best Practices Committee.

His design credits include King for a Day, Annie Get Your Gun, and Blizzard at Marblehead Neck (Glimmerglass Festival), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (National Center for the Performing Arts, Beijing), La bohème and Rigoletto (Wolf Trap Opera), Baden-Baden 1927 (Gotham Chamber Opera), Samson et Dalila, La bohème, and Three Decembers (Virginia Opera), La Chauve-Souris (Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur), Jekyll & Hyde and West Side Story (Magdeburg, Germany), Man of La Mancha (Central City Opera and Utah Opera), Hänsel & Gretel, Spamalot, Annie, The Sound of Music, The Nutcracker, Jonny spielt auf, Die Fledermaus, Der Himmel über Berlin, Wir gründen eine Bank, and Frau Luna (Salzburger Landestheater), Rockville and AIDA (Amstetten, Austria), Hairspray (Deutschestheater Munich), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Guys & Dolls, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Liberty Smith, and Little Shop of Horrors (Ford’s Theatre), Good News!, Meet John Doe (Goodspeed), Kiss Me, Kate (Barter Theatre), Gospel at Colonus, One Man, Two Guv’nors, and EVITA (ZACH Theatre), Jahreszeiten, Appalachian Spring, and The Sleeping Beauty (Richmond Ballet), Harlequinade, Don Quixote (Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet), Roll Out the Barrel, London Rocks (2015), Illuminights: A Busch Gardens Encore (Busch Gardens, Williamsburg), Sea Lion High, O Wondrous Night, Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Countdown, SeaWorld Celebrates Christmas – Sea of Trees (SeaWorld, Orlando), Azul (SeaWorld, San Antonio), Cabaret, Lend Me a Tenor, Fiddler on the Roof, The Foreigner, Little Shop of Horrors, and Other People’s Money (Engeman Theatre), Jungle Books (CityDance Ensemble), It Must Be Him (Off-Broadway), Dear Edwina (Daryl Roth Theatre 2 – Off-Broadway), The Stagedoor Canteen (National World War II Museum), Olympia Dukakis’ Another Side of the Island (Alpine Theatre Project), Birthday Sax (Ars Nova and Joes’ Pub), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Actor’s Studio & La Mama, directed by Estelle Parsons). He is still a practicing Designer of scenery and costumes. 

He has been an Assistant Designer on numerous Broadway and West End shows, including Guys & Dolls, Grease!, Lestat, Little Women, The Coast of Utopia, Cry*Baby, South Pacific, Mauritius, High Fidelity, Imagine This, and Prince of Egypt working with Paul Tazewell, Derek McLane, Catherine Zuber, Anna Louizos, and Ann Hould-Ward. He was a Guest Designer on ABC’s All My Children and One Life to Live.

In addition to his design work, he is proud to be a queer artist and member of the Doable Guys Art Collective. My drawings and watercolors are in private collections throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. His artwork has been exhibited in numerous group shows at New York’s Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Museum including The Male Gaze, Dirty Little Drawings and Boy Bordello, and in the 2017, 2019, and 2021 Fire Island Pines Biennial, as well as Side Tracks Gallery, and the Atlantic Gallery. His work has also been featured in 100 Artists of the Male Figure, Doable Guys Vols. 2-6, Falo Magazine, and Murn Magazine.

He holds an MFA from New York University and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a two-time First Place winner at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and won the Region IV Barbizon Prize at the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival.

Watson spent four seasons at The Lost Colony in Manteo, North Carolina.  He wrote about his experience on Medium, which was corroborated by NPR. One week before the Buzzfeed corroborating Michael Martin’s allegations was published, Watson received a phone call from one of Long’s former associates. Watson was informed that the article would be published soon and it would be ‘very bad for a lot of people if anyone else spoke up about the kinds of things that went on.’  Within a week after reading the Buzzfeed article, Watson reached out to add his story to the conversation. These specifics of his story being published on Medium are detailed in his essay. NPR was able to corroborate Watson’s account after speaking with numerous contemporaneous witnesses. 

Watson spoke with RIHA management in 2020 where he was asked, ‘what do you want,’ notedly not ‘what would you like us to do.’ Rather than asking for or accepting a payout, Watson persuaded RIHA to open an independent investigation which resulted in Long parting from The Lost Colony after a lifelong affiliation. Watson was prohibited from filing a complaint with United Scenic Artists Local 829, which, at the time, had a sixty-day window for complaints of any kind. That has since been extended to a yearlong window for all IATSE members. Watson also participated in an independent investigation with the American Theatre Wing which resulted in Long, a past-president of the Wing, being removed from their Advisory Board. 

When asked for comment by NPR, Long presented over fifty screen captures of Watson’s queer art in an effort to discredit his account of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Long. 

His attempt to obfuscate the truth did not succeed, however, and after much legal red tape cleared, NPR pushed forward with the verified, fact checked truth.

In 2013, Long’s first season as President of the Wing, he used his influence to present The Lost Colony with the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre, an honor usually reserved for members of the League of Residential Theatres (LORT) with contracts with Actors Equity in spite of the company being non-equity and not a member of LORT.