Brian Ruggaber is an award-winning scenic designer who is delighted to be designing La Bohème for Opera Columbus. Currently in his seventh year with the University of Memphis, he heads The Department of Theatre & Dance’s scenic design program and has designed scenery for over 160 productions including Opera, Drama, Musical Theatre, and Dance. His work has been seen in regional theatres, international festivals, and Off Broadway. He takes particular joy in developing work with diversity, equity, and inclusion as core themes. Prior to joining UM’s faculty, he was a Resident Scenic Design for The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and an Associate Professor of Design at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His students have successful careers in theatre, film, television, and themed entertainment. Brian is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, IATSE 492, and an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). He has an MFA from The University of Massachusetts and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to design, Brian has worked extensively in production and has manufactured scenery for commercial shops, television, and regional theatres.