Press

To Master The Art-Chicago Comercial Collective and TimeLine Theatre

“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”.
http://www.stageandcinema.com/Laurence 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 review.com

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).”
Aroundthetownchicago.com- 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.”
Wearegreenbay.com- 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.”
http://www.ppulse.com/- Gary Jones

What A Glorious Feeling-Theatre 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- Chicago.broadwayworld.com

Creditors-Remy Bumppo Theatre

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.”
Dan Zeff-chicagolandtheaterreviews.com

“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.”
Alan Bresloff-aroundthetownchicago.com

Fight Girl Battle World-Infusion 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 …nto 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- chicagotheatrebeat.com

“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- chciagocritic.com

“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.”
Alan Bresloff-aroundthetownchicago.com

Illegal Use of Hands-American Blues Theatre

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

“Lindsay Jones music and sound are effective and Charlie Cooper’s lights are well done.”
Alan Bresloff- http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com

Gutenberg!  The Musical-Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

“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-http://www.totaltheater.com

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-http://chicago.broadwayworld.com

“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.”
Tom Williams-chicagocritic.com/

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- stageandcinema.com

“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.”
Joe Halpin-lionnewspaper.com

Illegal Use of Hands-American Blues Theatre

“There is good complementary design work from Samantha C. Jones (costumes), Charlie Cooper (lighting), and Lindsay Jones (sound and original music).”
Dan Zeff-http://www.stageandcinema.com/

“Lindsay Jones music and sound are effective and Charlie Cooper’s lights are well done.”
Alan Bresloff- http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com/

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 Milwaukee.com

“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. Ball-onechicagomansopinion.com

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- Aroundthetownchicago.com

“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.”
Oliver Sava-Chicagotheatreblog.com

 

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 Days- Indiana 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 –Indytheatrehabit.com

 

Do The Hustle-Writers 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 splash.com

“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 – Chicagosplash.com

 

To Master The Art-TimeLine 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 Walsh.com


Blue Door-Victory 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 Critic.com

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.”
Alan Bresloff-Steadstylechicago.com
Rhymes With Evil-Infusion 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 It-Writer’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

 

Macbeth-Greasy 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

 

Sueno-Greasy 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 Seasons- TimeLine 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 Springs- TimeLine 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