Gion DeFrancesco

Gion DeFrancescoAssociate Professor of Theatre
Scene Designer, Scenic Charge Artist, and Associate Chair

210 Center for Performing Arts (513) 529-8318

MFA Scene Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BA Comprehensive Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Gion’s first name is pronounced “John” and comes from the Italian “Giovanni.” It matches well with his older sisters Gina and Giulianne, though it does get mispronounced often. The family has always pronounced the last name in an Americanized way, DeFran “sis” co.

He has taught at Centre College, Adrian College, and the University of Kentucky. He joined the Miami faculty in the fall of 2001.

As a freelance designer, Gion has designed at a number of theatres across the country including Big River at the Gallery Players of Brooklyn, I Love You! You’re Perfect ! Now Change! at the Florida Repertory Theatre, Happy Days at the West Virginia Public Theatre, The Magic Flute at the Illinois Opera Theatre, and 1776 at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan. Locally, Gion has designed at Town Hall Theatre (Centerville, OH), Ovation Theatre in Cincinnati (including The Little Foxes which received a Cincinnati Enquirer Acclaim Award in 2006), The Santaland Diaries at New Edgecliff Theatre in Cincinnati (2011), The Secret Garden (2011), Spamalot (2013), and Jesus Christ Superstar (2015) at Fairfield Summer Theatre, and Happy Days and Seussical at La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro, OH.

He has served as scenic charge at the Struthers Library Theatre, SummerFest at the Illinois Repertory Theatre, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival.

Gion is a member of United Scenic Artists and is active in USITT. Panel presentations have included Minding the Gap: Women in Scene Design, Tracing Our Heritage: Oliver Smith, and The Vanishing Library. He also served as Co-Chair of Design and Technology for Region III of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival from 2009-2012.

At Miami he has designed scenery for Head Over HeelsAs You Like It, Tartuffe, A View From the Bridge, Pentecost, The Wild Party, and Urinetown (to name a few) and costumes for The Memorandum and The Insanity of Mary Girard. He directed Into the Woods, The Comedy of Errors, and Candide.

Gion mentors student designers and supervises scene painting for the production season, and teaches courses in visual communication, scene design, scene painting, and history of the musical theatre.