“Gordon’s staging finds a strong balance between painful revelation and horseplay in the locker room… Joanna Iwanicka’s set and Charles Cooper’s lighting provide additional veracity. (Glimmering lights on the tile wall suggest the reflection from the pool just outside the door.) “Dry Land” takes us on an unexpected journey into the hearts of darkness and light beating inside ordinary teenagers, and reflects them in all their messy complexity.”
Kerry Reid – Chicago Tribune

“The design puts us right where we need to be. We smell the chlorine, we see the lights reflecting off of the pool, we hear the water.”
Erin Shea Brady –

The design work on this show is also remarkable. Joanna Iwanicka’s set design manages to create dynamic and distinct areas onstage in spite of the small space, and the high school locker room setting is detailed and accurate. Lighting by Charles Cooper provides a nice subtlety in design decisions despite the limited locations, and costumes by Janice Pytel add the perfect touches of realism.
Jessie Bond –



“Christopher Ash’s set and projections (with lighting by Charles Cooper), deftly interweave a metallic mid-century design vibe with 21st century technology, and its many pieces move so cleverly it looks as if Mader choreographed them, too.”
Heddy Weiss- Chicago SunTimes

“Christopher Ash’s set is an homage to the “Ed Sullivan Show,” which happens to feature prominently in the musical, dominated by several monolithic structures, bathed in psychedelic colors and patterns and projected with ever-changing images from that era. A turntable provides for smooth, simple and easily managed scenic changes, illuminated by Charles Cooper’s kicky, kaleidoscopic lighting.” 
Colin Douglas-Chicago Theatre Review

“The Production Profits immensely from Christopher Ash’s Scenic and projection designs….and the color of the projections enhanced by Charles Cooper’s gaudy lighting effects makes the production continually entertaining to watch…The Visual imagination of the staging will impress everyone.”  Daniel Zeff ”
Daniel Zeff –

“Director/Choreographer Tammy Mader delivers a Bye Bye Birdie that is a warm and colorful explosion for a winter’s day.…There is great design work from Sharon Sachs (costumes), Charles Cooper (lights), and Ray Nardelli (sound). “

“The staging at Drury Lane is beautiful, the cast is filled with energetic singers and dancers, and the entire show is a colorful delight.”

“What truly impressed me with the staging of this show is that there was no real set. Instead, we had walls that could have projections to hold our attention (Christopher Ash) and some smooth lighting (Charles Cooper).”
Alan Bresloff-Around the Town Chicago


“Deserving of special praise, too, is Courtney O’Neill, whose environmental set (magically lit by Charles Cooper) works a miracle with The Gift’s challenging alley-shaped space. O’Neill has perched small playing areas in every corner of the room, with leafless tree branches subtly hinting at a fairy tale world that is all too real.”  
Heddy Weiss- Chicago SunTimes

“Thornton has the honor of bringing the playwright’s world premier to life. He’s worked with set designer Courtney O’Neill and lighting designer Charles Cooper to draw his audience directly into this play by presenting it alley style…..The effect is that Dr. Michaels’ patients never leave him. They’re always surrounding him. Never does he have the luxury of leaving his work at the office because all the other characters are constantly within eye- and earshot, always in his conscience. It’s a brilliant concept.”
Colin Douglas-Chicago Theatre Review


“Act I presents a detailed European drawing room complete with magic Christmas tree that grows to extreme proportions and overwhelms reality as Charles Cooper’s brilliant lighting transforms the stage to a snowy scene.”
Lynn Colburn Shapiro-


“As with all TimeLine productions, “Inana” is expertly acted, directed  and designed”
Heddy Weiss- Chicago SunTimes

“Scenic designer Collette Pollard’s upscale hotel room setting is instantly familiar and appropriately anonymous – you could insert the set into a room at the Ramada Inn and guests wouldn’t notice the difference. Charles Cooper’s lighting design intensifies the beauty and the mystery of Inana, often giving the titular sculpture an otherworldly glow that highlights its sacred powers.”
Catey Sullivan-

“These performances are bolstered by the spectacular design team that TimeLine has brought together…Charles Cooper’s Lighting Design is able to aptly capture the transition from present to past.”
Jerald Raymond Pierce-


The piece is set within a large, open space that places the theatergoer in the middle of the action. Designed by Megan Truscott and lit by Charles Cooper, this environmental setting suggests a seedy downtown saloon, along with two different apartments and a playground in Central Park.Told with clarity and staged with brisk sensuality and simplicity, Bailiwick offers a feisty, fiercely beautiful production that kills softly with its songs.”
Colin Douglas-Chicago Theatre Review

“Truscott and Lighting Designer Charles Cooper utilized every inch of space available to them with great success, blending environments in the ‘real world’ of the story while popping in and out of what amounts to a rock concert. “
Jerald Raymond Pierce-Chicago Stage Standard

“Lighting design is often overlooked in the role it plays to shape a performance space. I thought Charles Cooper brought energy and color, in addition to helping guide our attention in moments when there were quite a few things to focus on.”
Elena Colas- Chicago Literati Magazine


“Sarah Ross’ richly atmospheric set (skillfully lit by Charlie Cooper) cleverly turns the audience into Serafina’s neighbors, with Sarah Jo White’s fine period costumes full of print dresses and crinolines.”
Heddy Weiss- Chicago SunTimes

“Supported by Charles Cooper’s delicately rose-tinted lighting and Sarah Ross’ imaginative “exploded” house set, which effaces the boundary between inside and outside, director Vinkler gives us a feel for the town’s fully communal life, bound by a shared and sometimes suffocating morality. The Sicilian villagers “find God in each other,” says a wise woman. “When they lose each other, they lose God.”
Hugh Iglarsh- New City Chicago

“Every scene feels authentic in this intimate, immersive production, which shifts seamlessly between highly comic and achingly poignant. That’s true of Sarah Ross’ set, a modest, weathered but tidy cottage, which lighting designer Charles Cooper bathes in warm, Gulf Coast light.”

Barbara Vitello- The DAILY HEARALD

“Sarah Ross‘ cutaway setting allows the audience to easily peer into the lives of these passionate Italian-Americans, while Charles Cooper’s lighting is soft, romantic and lushly illuminating. ”
Colin Douglas- Centerstage Chicago

“Finally, and not least, Charles Cooper’s poetic lighting captures both the spirit and the flow of Tennessee Williams’ affectionate narrative.”
Lawrence B. Johnson- Chicago on the

“We are introduced to Williams’ world by the colorful, detailed set (design by  Sarah E. Ross), which brings to mind an old world feel as it encompasses the  entire theatre. Actors enter and exit through the audience, and their actions  are made vibrantly immediate in front of your eyes by the nuanced, cinematic  lighting design of Charles Coooper.”

Will Cameron- Chicago Stage

“Under the sterling direction of Greg Vinkler …. on a divine set by Sarah Ross, who truly shows that one can take a “black box” 99 seat theater and take the viewers to another place and time. Technical perfection is very apparent with period costumes by Sarah Jo White, lighting(Charles Cooper) , original music and sound (Christopher Kriz) and amazing props (Vivian Knouse). “

Alan Bresloff- Around the Town

“The Shattered Globe ensemble does a superb job with all the accoutrements to stage The Rose Tattoo. Sarah Ross’ set design and Charles Cooper’s lighting accommodate both interior and exterior scenes. Susan Gosdick has coached the actors effectively on their Italian accents. Costumes designed by Sarah Jo White are colorful and dramatic. The dresses worn by Serafina and 15-year-old Rosa are especially reminiscent of 1950s styles.”
Nancy Bishop – Gapers Block Chicago


“Scenic designer Grant Sabin has created a white-white set—white couches, white rugs, white chairs, so much white that my teeth were set on edge before the houselights went down; his series of easily-drawn curtains permit scenes of otherness, real or hoped-for, to occur spontaneously and in concert with the seeming present. Janice Pytel’s costumes continue the muting of theatrical specificity, using (in most instances), oft-scrubbed colors and unspecific time-periods, and Charles Cooper’s lighting fades in and out slyly, providing a gentle translucency that reminds us that the passage of hours or months is irrelevant. “
Aaron Hunt-New City Chicago

“All of this can be attributed to Ann Filmer’s subtle direction, gently guiding her actors between Ruhl’s alternating waves of realism and reverie. Staged upon Grant Sabin’s sleek, modern, white-on-white living room set which, during the second act, opens up to also reveal Ana’s balconied home, is the perfect visual metaphor. The upstage features an open area that provides space for the play’s many flashbacks. Charles Cooper’s lighting also enhances the shining sparseness of the story, while Janice Pytel’s lovely costumes provide another dimension to each character.”
Colin Douglas-Chicago Theatre Review

“Costume designer Janice Pytel’s boldest and most rewarding decision was providing her with a luminescent blue dress. Grant Sabin’s set design is a modern-style living room so clean it is almost sterile, but becomes cluttered with absurdities. Christopher Kriz’s sound and Charles Cooper’s lighting keeps the play in its magical realm, allowing easy transitions to flashbacks or scenes in a character’s imagination.”   
Jacob Davis-


“A playwright’s note in the program highlights the volatile edge on which 1970s factory towns like Birmingham were teetering as the U.S. government was importing more foreign steel and goods; that desperation is rightfully mirrored and amplified in the rusting set, stormy lighting and story of loss we see here.  And yet the audience isn’t left with only the ever-lingering heartache and damage such loss creates. With the show’s powerful performances and production choices, we’re also presented with the shaky hope and strength that can eventually rise from the ashes.”
Gwen Purdom- Timeout Chicago

 “Shattered Globe Theatre’s intimate production, skillfully directed by Sandy Shinner, carefully charts Nemeth’s nonlinear narrative with the aid of Charlie Cooper’s inventive lighting.”
Albert Williams- Chicago Reader

 “Charlie Cooper and Christopher Kritz work in tandem enhancing Jeff Bauer’s sparse scenic design and filling the intimate playing area with blinding light and deafening sound, helping create a heat that’s almost palpable.”
Colin Douglas-Chicago Theatre review

“Mill Fire is a great-looking production. The environment is interesting, effective, and well-used. The technical elements are equally strong with bold and interesting choices from lighting and sound designers. The show feels very cohesive, overall, and the production team’s successful collaborative process is evident.”

“The simple set design by Jeff Bauer allows director Sandy Shinner to seamlessly intertwine time, space and memory on the intimate stage at Theater Wit. Further illuminating the story are the sound design and lighting by Christopher Kriz and Charlie Cooper, respectively.”
Loy Webb- Newcity Chicago


“The climatic bloody prom scene that is so culturally iconic about Carrie was absolutely remarkable given the budget and size of the theatre space. An enormous amount of credit needs to be given to Gravity & Momentum which assisted with the special effects and blood, to lighting designer Charles Cooper, and to technical director Christopher Kristant for making this climax so visually impressive. ..The effects are executed very well, but not so much that they overshadow the moment’s tragic emotional significance. This production really struck the perfect balance.”
Justin LeClaire-Splash Magazines

“Stephen H. Carmody has designed a visually striking, flexible, high-tech school locker-inspired set, heightened by Charles Cooper and Patrick Bley’s lighting and sound effects. Everything melds beautifully, from Carrie’s telekinetic special effects to the play’s bloody, tragic climax, so memorable in the 1976 Brian De Palma film. Technically this production never disappoints.”
Colin Douglas- Centerstage Chicago

“What is this? A grey and jagged cavern full of cracks and crevices, each stuffed with horrid instruments and burning with garish light. From within the rolling ants of fog and haze, demonic shapes her and jibber and the air is filled with the shrieking laughter of the damned. Is this that fiery pit that awaits the cruel and wicked? No, it is worse: a high school gym locker room and set for Carrie the Musical. Masterfully engineered and lighted by Stephen H. Carmody and Charles Cooper, respectively, this is the prime oyster that should hold a glowing pearl..”
Ben Kemper-Chicago Theatre Review

“…Charlie Cooper’s lighting design paired withPatrick Bley’s sound design and Christopher Kristant’s technical tricks keep everyone on the edge of their seats.”
Phil Potempa-NWI times

“... the prom sequence is pulled off so well that it is truly horrifying and completely believable….The Scenic Design of metal lockers suspended overhead by Stephen Carmody is masterfully done and what happens during the prom scene (which I won’t give away) is theatrical magic at its finest and Charles Cooper’s Lightening Design (extremely important in establishing the Gothic mood of the piece) deserves an award. ”
James  Murray-

” The set design by Stephen H. Carmody, with steel lockers creating playing spaces, is open enough and angular enough to allow the actors to easily create different locations. Lighting designer Charles Cooper deserves special mention for helping focus the transitions between locations ranging from deposition room, to locker room, and closet. …Finally, when the long-awaited prom arrives, the entire design team, along with Greg Poljacik/Gravity & Momentum’s blood and special effects come as satisfyingly close to cinematic apocalypse as is possible within the confines of the Richard Christiansen Theater. ”
Kerstin Broockmann-Chicago stage standard

“The stripped down stage, which lights up and comes apart depending on the setting and the scene, is a nice metaphor for the character of Carrie White, fragile and compromised on the inside, and ready to be destroyed by the outside forces both beyond and in her control.”

“After slogging through nearly two hours of unnecessary mixed belting, the blood-soaked conclusion better be worth it, and director Michael Driscoll delivers. The final wrath of Carrie is by far the show’s most powerful asset aside from Ms. Johnson’s compelling performance.”
Chicago Culture Vulture-John Accrocco



“Keith Pitt’s Flexible kitchen and dining room sets could not be more appetizing or welcomingl Rachel Anne Healy’s costumes match the table perfectly, and Charles Cooper’s lighting is entirely worthy of “la ville des Lumieres” Bommer

“..warm environs created by scenic designer Keith Pitts, lighting by Charles Cooper and music by Andrew Hansen to make this, if not a four-course meal, at least a tasty   morsel.”
Time Out Chicago- Kirs Vire

Almost like another character is Keith Pitts‘ flexible set that easily becomes a fancy French bistro that bookends the action of the play, the famed cooking school, an outdoor French marketplace, a US government interrogation room and, of course, Julia Child’s kitchen. Charles Cooper’s design bathes this story in warm lighting and Rachel Anne Healy clothes her characters in period fashions, while Andrew Hansen’s simple, evocative piano sound design provides a lovely bridge between time and place.”
Colin Douglas-ChicagoTheatre

This is a strong cast on a wonderful set(Keith Pitts) that allows us to move from Bistro, to cooking school to julia’s kitchen with great ease and the lighting (Charles Cooper) and sound/original music(Andrew Hansen) truly add to the telling of this love story- not just the love between this couple, but that of their friends and of course, food ( in particular for Julia).” Alan Bresloff

Sunday in the Park With George – PENINSULA PLAYERS

“Visuals are vivid – the re-creation of Seurat paintings and the Act II artist’s sculpture by scenic designer Jack Magaw, the 1880s vintage Parisian and modern wear by costume designer Karin Simonson Kopischke and the blending of all things visible by lighting designer Charlie Cooper.” Warren Gerds

“Act one concludes with a scene that is stunning not only visually but musically, an emotionally engaging theatrical experience as at last, the painting is complete.” Gary Jones

What A Glorious FeelingTHEATRE AT THE CENTER

“Angie Weber Miller has designed an expansive rehearsal room/soundstage set that I really enjoyed being in, and the lighting of Charles Cooper and sound design of Barry G. Funderburg were low-key but successful.”
Paul L Thompson-


Jeffrey Bauer’s lounge design is outwardly naturalistic, but its sterility, reinforced by Charles Cooper’s bright and even lighting turns the setting into a kind of Chilly laboratory.”

“As previously stated, Remy Bummpo pays close attention to detail and it shows not only in the set, but in the perfect lighting (Charles Cooper), the perfect props( Julie Allen), the sound and music (Christopher Kriz) and the period costumes (Jeremy W. Floyd).  Working on a small stage in an intimate space is not a hardship for this production as Shimer uses each part of the stage to the best advantage and the intimacy makes the story that much more powerful.”

Fight Girl Battle WorldINFUSION THEATRE

“The endlessly inventive design team serves up a kaleidoscopic collage encompassing strobe lights, life-sized puppets, video projections, acrobatic combat, and a day-glo spandex wardrobe—courtesy of, respectively, Charles Cooper, Kimberly G. Morris, Rasean Davonte Johnson and Anna Henson, David Blixt and Rachel Sypniewski.”
Mary Shen Barnidge- Windy City Times

“Toss David Blixt’s inspired fight choreography and across-the-board great production elements …Into the ring, and resistance to this show’s many charms is futile.”
Kerry Reid-Chicago Tribune

“This show is a sci-fi geek’s wet dream.  Golob combines multiple design elements to build this virtual reality.”
Scotty Zacher-

“Fight Girl Battle World by Qui Nguyen is a strange and perplexing yet somewhat entertaining theatrre experience. It features  manic fight choreography (by David Blixt), fine video projections (by Rasean Davonte Johnson & Anna Henson), witha massive futuristic set (designed by Dave Ferguson) and fine light (by Charles Cooper) and sound (by Stephen Patrick) with puppetry (by Kimberly G. Morris) and unique costumes (by Rachel Sypniewski). The staging and look and feel of this sci-fi work is more entertaining than the vague and confusing plot.”
Tom Williams-

“The fights are great, the sound (Stephen Ptacek), lighting (Charles Cooper) and costumes (Rachel Sypniewski) are all fun and help make this 2 hour production ( two acts, 10 minute intermission) almost work.  The use of puppets and men dressed in black to work the fight scenes is very clever and the strobe lighting has some great effects.”


“There is good complementary design work from Samantha C. Jones (costumes), Charlie Cooper (lighting), and Lindsay Jones (sound and original music).”
Dan Zeff,

“Lindsay Jones music and sound are effective and Charlie Cooper’s lights are well done.”
Alan Bresloff-


“Such trash makes excellent fodder for sendups of musical staples like the cheery opening, the love ballad, the charm song and the power number. Pianist Paul Helm plays each fraught arpeggio with the pathos it deserves; lighting designer Charles Cooper keeps pace with equally melodramatic transitions.”
Mike Fischer-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“With a black backdrop as a set, the production highlights the clever costumes of Rachel Laritz and the understated lighting by Charles Cooper.”
Anne Siegel-

Pippin-The Music Theatre Company

“The lights and flashiness of the show do indeed reach their peak just before the unforeseen turn of events, and the final image of Pippin, Catherine and Theo in their underwear does carry the meaning it is intended to convey. Actually, the lighting for this show (by Charles Cooper) is one of its best aspects. The lights change constantly, directing the eye and conveying the mood and creating the time and place. I was extremely impressed. I don’t think the workable scenic design (Stephen M. Carmody), properties design (Nick Heggestad) or costume design (Jessica Snyder) of this production would come off near as well, were the lighting not so perfect.”
Paul W. Thompson-

“Tight quarters are in many cases a difficult chore for the director/choreographer ( Redish handles it all with great style) and the tech people who are limited in what they can do with sets ( although Stephen H. Carmody does some very razzle/dazzle things here) and lighting ( Charles Cooper nails it).”
Alan Bresloff-Around the town Chicago

“The result is a slickly polished production of Pippin. Redish’s production is the finest I’ve seen yet of Schwartz’s 70′s musical.”

Hairspray-Drury Lane Oakbrook

“To make a show like this a success, besides the set, director.choreographer, and stage talents, we need costumes ( perfectly designed by Kurt Alger, who also did the wigs , of which there are many, many), cool lighting affects ( Charles Cooper), perfect sound ( Ray Nardelli) and  propmaster ( Joel Lambie) who makes all the little items fit the puzzle.”
Alan Breslof-Around the town Chicago

“Drury Lane definitely delivers a handsome Hairspray that should please both die-hard fans and newcomers alike.”
Scott C. Morgan- Windy City Times

“Mader keeps her large chorus literally hopping all night.   The bi-level set by Marcus Stephens is elaborate and resourceful, but the production really doesn’t require scenery at all, as the evening was at its best when a couple dozen dancers did their thing on a mostly empty stage. Charles Cooper designed the lighting, Ray Nardelli designed the sound, and Kurt Alger is the costume designer, responsible for the huge wardrobe of sixties teen-age outfits that add a nostalgic flourish to the proceedings.”
Dan Zeff-

“Topping it all off was a colorful, innovative lighting design by Charles Cooper and scenic design by Marcus Stephens, tying each innovative aspect of the production together and making it the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing musical phenomenon that we have come to know as “Hairspray.”

A Wrinkle In Time-First Stage Children’s Theatre

“Scenic designer Sarah Hunt-Frank’s huge, dome-shaped jungle gym serves as the multi-dimensioned tesseract that gets them there.  Lighting designer Charles Cooper gives this clever, multipurpose contraption the feel of a vast web, and it’s no accident that it does double duty here as the pulsing, collective brain – what L’Engle dubbed IT – that threatens the very possibility of independent thought, reminding us that while technology can help us find new worlds, it can also destroy us.”
Mike Fischer- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“First Stage typically does an excellent job with its dazzling special effects. In Wrinkle, the stage is dominated by a domed jungle gym. With strobe lights and sound effects, the jungle gym is transformed into various environments. The most impressive transformation is undoubtedly a giant, pulsating brain called It. Meg and company must find a way to defeat It in order to accomplish their mission.”
Anne Siegel-Express

“Designer Sarah Hunt-Frank’s set consists of a couple of rickety-looking platforms and a large geodesic jungle gym (the kind playgrounds sported before they were made safe). This becomes the matrix of the play’s most vivid stagecraft: the actors swing and bounce around to exciting shouting and flashing lights whenever they space-warp; a mode of transportation that looks both harrowing and kind of fun. The dome also becomes a great red-glowing brain, as the actors dangle inside it’s frame speaking in sinister unison. ”
Jeff Grygny-Milwaukee Theatre Examiner

Orpheus Descending-Shattered Globe Theatre

“In this well-designed production, a large supporting cast of busybodies, rednecks and a particularly harrowing Conjure Man (Arch Harmon), capture the Southern-fried nature of the place. No need for Orpheus to descend here; this town is its own little hell.”
Hedy Weiss- Chicago Sun Times

“this production…backlights several of Williams’ signature motifs, two in particular being the Manichean struggle between light and darkness, and the veneration of the poetic nonconformist. Courtney O’Neill‘s set design, which initially puzzled me for its dreary spartanism, became logical as the drama unfolded; the interplay of the set with Charles Cooper‘s lighting created a contrast between the dark world around the characters and the small loci of bright light and color within that world.”
M. D.

Tree-Victory Gardens Theatre

“To complete a picture as strongly as Dymond does, it takes a group of people who are often ignored or just mentioned in a review…. A marvelous set ( Jaqueline and Rick Penrod)  where we can see the layers of the house and the symbolism of the little fishing boat filled with letters that becomes the refuge for DiDi and Charlie Cooper’s perfect lighting effects creating the moods of each of the well written scenes by He’bert.”
Alan Bresloff-

“Charlie Cooper’s lighting evokes the different settings of Jessalyn’s monologues, and beautifully reflects her changing moods, switching from cool blues and warm oranges for her past to stark red for her most extreme moments of confusion and terror.”


Soul Samurai-Infusion Theatre

“Soul Samurai’s technical elements are amazing. Organic and ingenious, they play together as mood-setting backdrop and a mechanism for wild innovation in mixed-media theater.”
Ryan Dolley-Time Out Chicago

“The high-tech, multimedia production -including video elements, a live DJ, and a light show that would make Lady Ga Ga jealous- is an excellent and unique way for a 20 or 30 something adult to spend the evening.”
Krista Krauss, Concierge Preferred

“The real stars of the show, however, are the technical team of David Ferguson, Liviu Pasare, Charles Cooper, Miles Polaski and Joy Dennis, who together create a dramatic universe steeped in metaphor and mystery, where violence is not a mere enhancement but instead seamlessly integrated into their story’s very foundations.”
Windy City Times- Mary Shen Barnidge

Around the World in 80 DaysIndiana Repertory Theatre

“More than anything else about this adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, I was taken with …Charles Cooper’s lighting, which shrinks this fantastic global trek into delightfully small dimensions.   Small, warm spotlights introduce our hero Phileas Fogg against a velvety darkness and then light expands for his big adventure, a train-elephant-ship voyage accompanied by projections of dreamy skies and full moons.”
Josefa Beyer-NUVO

“Kevin Depinet’s scenic design seems, at first, to be just a polished, dark, parquet floor under a prettily ornamented frame, with a little round table and a handful of embroidered chairs.  As the story gets going, a little door pops open or a small committee of trees glides in or a perfectly chosen object drops down…or the lighting patterns change on the back wall (lighting design by Charles Cooper) or a puff of smoke adds another dimension of physicality and surprise.  Your imagination is happy (delighted!) to fill in the rest, and does so with ease.”
Hope Baugh –


Do The HustleWriters Theatre

“And ah, the Lighting Design! Take a look at the picture of Eddie in a thoughtful moment and notice how the light plays on his face. It’s a perfect example of Charles Cooper’s masterful lighting.”
Patricia Simms – Chicago

“The scenes change quickly with the actors making the changes and the lighting effects (Charles Cooper) add to the flavor of these seedy men.”
Alan Bresloff- Around the Town Chicago

“Scenic and properties designers Kevin Depinet and Nick Heggestad, respectively, have created a suitably forlorn set… Rachel Anne Healy’s costumes and Charles Cooper’s lighting add to the dismal mood.”
Tom Witom- Lake County Journal

“It was a wise choice by the director William Brown  to keep things simple and gritty. The set, sound and lighting work nicely in the cozy space as the swindlers feel the rush of constantly cheating people out of their money.”
Jerry Nunn- Windy City Times


Eclipsed- Northlight Theatre

“Stripped of their names — that last reminder of their former selves — they are identified by a number coinciding with the pecking order established by their captor, a rebel leader known as C.O. (for “commanding officer”), who never appears but whose presence Gurira chillingly conveys with help from lighting designer Charles Cooper.”
Barbara Vitello-The Daily Herald

“To add to the overall production, the set by by Jack Magaw, the lighting by Charles Cooper … make it all appear real… (and )truly make it a worthwhile experience.”
Alan Bresloff-Around The Town Chicago

“Infused with rigorous feminist thinking and amplified through unsparing stagecraft, Gurira’s tiny, tightly focused story achieves an epic scope.”
Justin Hayford-Chicago Reader

“Jack Magaw’s ramshackle set establishes the atmosphere of deprivation and oppression that dominate the lives of the characters. The physical production also profits from Charles Cooper’s dramatic lighting and Myron Elliott’s tattered costumes.”
Dan Zeff- Copley news service

“Effective lighting design by Charles Cooper changes the look and mood of the set, creates beautiful changes to the “sky,” and forwards and enhances the action, for example when a light from within the commander’s building is used to represent his demands for attention and when special effects are used for a gun battle outside the compound.”
Juanita Nicholson –


To Master The ArtTimeLine Theatre

“Indeed, Brown’s romantic production (beautifully designed by the team of Keith Pitts, Rachel Anne Healy and Charles Cooper, with lovely romantic music from Andrew Hansen) is an excellent, intimate, foodie-friendly staging, resonant with atmosphere and the kind of classic, cozy, autumnal kitchen ambiance that makes one want to swear off takeout food from this moment forth.”
Chris Jones-Chicago Tribune

“Brown and his design team create a remarkable feel for the time and place.”
John Olson- Talkin Broadway

“Brown’s rock-solid supporting cast and an evocative kitchen set by Keith Pitts–enhanced by Charles Cooper’s autumnal lighting–add texture and spice to this unlikely but thoroughly engaging love story.”
Kerry  Reid- Chicago Reader

Thieves Like Us-The House Theatre

“Charlie Cooper’s noirish lighting, some nifty work with a pulley and recurring choreography with newspapers keep Thieves Like Us looking lively. “
John Beer- Timeout Chicago

“…Kimberly Senior, whose ever bold and inventive spirit is matched by the work of choreographer Tommy Rapley, fight master Nick Sandys, and composer Kevin O’Donnell, the thrilling environmental scenic design of Lee Keenan and the richly nuanced contributions of Alison Siple (costumes), Charlie Cooper (lighting) and Christopher Kriz (sound), all of whom have helped create a deliciously cinematic (and also winningly Brechtian) piece of theater.”
Heddy Weiss- Chicago Sun Times

“Thieves Like Us” is perhaps the slickest and most polished show I’ve ever seen at the House Theatre.”
Chris Jones-Chicago Tribune

“”Throughout the show, lights and sound (Charlie Cooper and Christopher Kriz) combine to create the illusion of old-fashion photographs being shot.   This imagery, along with costumes by Alison Siple, helps establish a depression era setting.”
Katy Walsh- The Forth

Blue DoorVictory Gardens Theatre

“Keith Pitts’s set …serve (s) as a canvas for Liviu Pasare’s projections and Charlie Cooper’s lights, two invaluable agents for bringing the distant past to the fore.”
Caitlin Montanye Parris-Time Out Chicago

“This enticing piece is presented on a wonderfully elegant set (designed by Keith Pitts) with haunting lighting (by Charlie Cooper)  with underscoring video projections (by Liviu Pasare).”
Tom Williams- Chicago

“The lighting by Charlie Cooper and sound by Andre Pluess along with the simple costuming by Judith Lundberg and subtle videos by Liviu Pasare complete the painting that Barfield and Dymond create on the stage at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.”

Rhymes With EvilInfusion Theatre

“But in Mitch Golob’s visually fascinating staging, designers Meredith Miller (puppets), Keith Pitts (set), Charles Cooper (lights), Dawn Myrie (props), and Amy Gabbert (costumes) create an environment that shifts fluidly between reality and the eerie world of Lathan’s imagination. “
Albert Williams-Chicago Readrer

“Technically this is a strong show. There’s a lot going on and it all runs smoothly.”
Venus Zarris-Chicago Stage Review


As You Like ItWriter’s Theatre

“The production is bathed in topnotch design work from a mighty crew of light, scene, sound and set magicians.”
Katey Sullivan- Pioneer Press

“The set by Keith Pitts recreates the Forest of Arden as a decaying mansion surrounded by unspoiled nature. The physical production is further enhanced by Rachel Anne Healy (costumes), Charles Cooper (lighting), and Andrew Hansen.”
Dan Zeff- Copley News Service


MacbethGreasy Joan and Company

“Director Julieanne Ehre fully embraces the play’s supernatural aspect. Scenic designer Kevin Depinet’s stark white set is a perfect canvas for lighting designer Charles Cooper’s eerie colors and ghostly shadows, and sound designer Andrew Hansen’s otherworldly aural effects intensify the play’s dark magic.”
Albert Williams- Chicago reader

“There are some inspired choices here… a terrific shadow play depicting the long line of kings descended from Macbeth’s nemesis Banquo.  This is a small-scale Shakespeare that has both style and substance on its side. “
Kerry Reid- Chicago Tribune


SuenoGreasy Joan and Company

“The production works, thanks to the all-around talents of actors who are aided by Charles Cooper’s atmospheric lighting, Kevin Depinet’s starkly perfect set, Nick Keenan’s moody music and Alison Heryer’s magical costumes.”
Mary Houlihan- Chicago sun times

“Scenic designer Kevin Depinet’s austere fortress with Moorish flourishes and Charles Cooper’s surprisingly varied lighting are highly effective.”
Jonathan Abarbanel-Windy City Times

“Ehre takes the recipe of Rivera’s exceptional script, adds the ingredients of an engaging cast and ices the cake with beautiful technical elements. Don’t miss this dramatically delicious treat.”
Venus Zarris- Gay Chicago Magazine


A Man For All SeasonsTimeLine Theatre

“The set consists of a bare stage partially bisected by a sliver of water that represents the River Thames among other locations. Otherwise, the physical production relies on a few props and some dramatic lighting to carry us back to 16th century England.”
Dan Zeff- Copley News Service


Martin Furey’s Shot– TimeLine Theatre

“A  great panoramic wall of the township slums that doubles as a vast screen for the many projections of archival photographs that are expertly fused into the storytelling.  The projection design by Mike Tutaj is richly complemented by Charles Cooper’s lighting and Andrew Hansen’s superb soundscape. “
Heddy Weis – Chicago Sun Times


Paragon SpringsTimeLine Theatre

“The masterful set designer Brian Sidney Bembridge has created a hauntingly beautiful set, whose misty patina and symphony of bare branches suggest both a paradise and toxic wasteland. Charles Cooper’s magnificent lighting enhances this effect, as do Andrew Hansen’s thrilling sound design and original music and Alex Meadows’ period-perfect costumes.”
Heddy Weis – Chicago Sun Times


Awake and Sing!– TimeLine Theatre

“Nicole Rene Burchfield’s period costumes, Charles Cooper’s air-shaft-like lighting and Andrew Hansen’s sound are excellent. “
Heddy Weis – Chicago Sun Times