Nina Ball Scenic Designer
Brilliant Scenic Designer Enchantingly frams the scene Worth the price of Admission Brilliant Costumes & set

God of Carnage Marin Theatre Company 2012, director: Ryan Rilette

"Designer Nina Ball's use of African masks on a brick wall and finished beams draws on Veronica's stated aesthetic to more organic effect. "
-Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

Rumors Center Repertory Theatre 2012, director: Timothy Near

There is an unwritten rule that farce requires four doors to accommodate the multiple entrances and exits. The obligatory numbers of doors are there but there is also a fifth door that fits into the mystery angle of the plot, its purpose is not to be revealed here. It also helps that Nina Ball has created a fantastic two story interior set with a soaring stage left staircase that is an integral part of the action and can be construed as a sixth door."
-Kedar K. Adour, For All Events

"The set by Nina Ball is a perfect playground for farce -- a roomy living room with lots of furniture for bouncing off and tripping over, a staircase and upstairs hallway for running up and down and at least a half-dozen doors to run in and out of for maximum comic effect.”
-Pat Craig, San Jose Mercury News

God's Plot Shotgun Players 2011, director: Mark Jackson

"Nina Ball's set enchantingly frames Jackson's bare-bones stagings by transforming the theater into a colonial version of its former identity as a church."
-Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

Phaedra Shotgun Players 2011, director: Rose Riordan

"While this may be the easiest set Nina Ball has ever been asked to design for Shotgun, her ability to make its catalogue-perfect sterility an unscripted character is enhanced by the eerie sound design work by Hannah Birch Carl."
-George Heymont, My Cultural Landscape

"To stage this dissection of the America Dream, Award winning set-designer Nina Ball has created a masterpiece. Her set reminds us that Phaedra is after all Greek; Ms. Ball has introduced nuances and elements of Minoan, Mycenaean and Athenian architecture and styling without dragging down the value of the Euro."
-Jeffrey R. Smith, For All Events

"Nina Ball’s set design has captured the fashionable sterility of the upper-middle-class domicile; it is as if the inhabitants are recreating a temple wherein purification rites are done to bleach out the lurking impurities of life. Her set has an inner-below of Doric columns and marble floors to invoke the culture that spawned drama and its catharsis. Placed at an angle to the audience, Ms. Ball’s set has allowed Director Riordan to make good use of the upstage vertex exits to the rest of the dark house. The actors show the silent desperation and enmity pulsing through the house with their hesitant exits/entrances in the labyrinth. One extraordinary moment was the use of shadows to show Paulie drinking a glass of water in the kitchen: it metaphorically reflected the long shadow he threw over Catherine and the others and gave a nod to Plato’s shadows on the cave wall."
- John A. McMullen II, Examiner

"…they have a magnificent set by the talented Nina Ball that alone is worth the price of admission."
-Kedar K. Adour, For All Events

Care of Trees Shotgun Players 2011, director: Susannah Martin

"Travis digging deep into the earth next to the magnificent spiral-staircase tree of Nina Ball's root-encrusted set."
-Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle

The Companion Piece Z Space 2011, director: Mark Jackson

"Nina Ball’s set is filled with surprises, as are her wonderfully comic costumes (the striped union suit is especially fetching). The big, open space of the stage gives a show about intimacy (or avoiding it) an epic feel."
-Chad Jones, Theatre Dogs

The Salt Plays, Pt.2; Of the Earth Shotgun Players 2010, director: Jon Tracy

"Goddesses hang from the steel poles of Nina Ball's striking, spare set."

- Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle

"The Shotgun Players production is stunning in its design on the small stage, thanks to set designer Nina Ball's sets…”
- Richard Connema, Talking Broadway

"Nina Ball's set design is mesmerizing with no platforms on the proscenium stage. At stage center is a charcoal mound that appears to be a very small bridge with off-white colored lines criss-crossing over it from many directions of the stage. Surrounding this mound in a semicircle are two poles on each side of the stage; 20-foot submarine-like ladders; walls with two doors on the right and the left; and a multi-use green-scrim wall that has double sliding green doors at the base of upstage center."
-Percival Arcibal, San Francisco Examiner

Mary Stuart Shotgun Players 2010, director: Mark Jackson

"Director Mark Jackson's radical adaptation is as stark, direct and unornamented as the corporate walls of Nina Ball's set, and as cruel as a conspirator's smile…. A shocking splatter of gore, the startling appearance of a mirror, a stately transformation of Ball's set."
-Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle

"Mary, sitting in an office chair most of the time and never leaving the stage, is a prisoner in what appears to be a stark police interrogation room (beautifully created by Nina Ball). Above her are three large television monitors, almost always focused, close up, on her face. Every twitch, every small gesture, every tiny movement by Mary is magnified on the screen and tells a powerful tale of her turmoil."
-Pat Craig, San Jose Mercury News

"Nina Ball’s sleek, modern, and deceptively simple-looking set depicts a sterile interrogation room with mostly gray walls, a spotlighted chair in the center, and a dark window behind it that’s clearly for observation from outside."
-Sam Hurwitt, The Idiolect

The Salt Plays, Pt.1; In the Wound Shotgun Players 2010, director: Jon Tracy

"Nina Ball’s set … is only one of many ingenious devices that make this good raw theatre."
-John A. McMullen II, The Berkeley Daily Planet

The Fantasticks SF Playhouse 2010, director: Bill English

"English’s vision is a post apocalyptic era and the theme is brilliantly depicted in Nina Ball’s set and costume design.
-Charles Jarrett, For All Events

The Importance of Being Earnest Town Hall Theatre 2010, director: Susannah Martin

"…brilliant scenic designer (Nina Ball).. The set is an art deco masterpiece."
-Charles Jarrett, For All Events

The Threepenny Opera Shotgun Players 2009, director: Susannah Martin

"The sets are "punk" in every way. Designed by Nina Ball, they combine a West Oakland warehouse interior with furnishings that could have been excavated from Brecht's original play — such as a broken balustrade, a wall of exposed brick, a pair of arched doors, and a sign for the famed British holding company, Barclay's. Otherwise, the whole stage is splattered with graffiti and slathered in paper \ posters. The old, dilapidated, scavenged architecture makes this Threepenny look as though it's happening in an appropriated space. That's an ingenious touch by Ball, who is famous for creating environments that help distill storylines and amplify themes. In this case, every detail is relevant, from the broken windows to the graffiti messages ("Back off," "We are your children," "Hands are here to make things. Hands are here to break things.").
-Rachel Swan, East Bay Express

"Who is the greater criminal? The man who robs a bank, or the man who founds one?” asks the timeless 1928 Brecht/Weill epic-theatre-piece, The Threepenny Opera. And Shotgun Players’ must-see, darkly-brilliant and currently-running production, staged with raw, seductive power by Susannah Martin, answers the question. A message scrawled on the columns of the abandoned bank set (designed by Nina Ball) provides a clue:"Hands are here 2 make things -- Hands are here 2 break things."
-Mike Ward, Tuesday, SF Bay Times

"Bravo to set designer Nina Ball who has given a punk look to the stage with scraps of newspapers surrounding the walls of the stage.
-Richard Connema, Talking Broadway

Awake and Sing Aurora Theatre Company 2009 director: Joy Carlin

"The piece is beautifully created from top to bottom — from Joy Carlin's direction…to the stunningly well-wrought set by Nina Ball."
-Pat Craig, Bay Area News Group

"…Nina Ball's tight, well-appointed set underscores the claustrophobic pressure of six adults crammed into a small Bronx apartment."
-Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

Faust Part 1 Shotgun Players 2009, director: Mark Jackson

"When the giant gates of Nina Ball’s set slide open, the stage reveals an idyllic birch grove (beautifully lit by Joan Arhelger)."
-Chad Jones, Theatre Dogs

Rabbit Hole Town Hall Theatre 2009, director: Susannah Martin

"The production elements of Martin's staging are particularly strong, especially Nina Ball's terrific set of an immaculately detailed and seemingly long-stagnant suburban home, with toys tucked away in corners of bookcases and under the lip of the raised kitchen floor and Danny's outer-space-themed bedroom visible through a screen."
-Sam Hurwitt, The Idiolect