Robert Sunderman

Associate Professor
Dept: Music and Theatre
Office:0314 Carver

Office hours: MWF 11-12, TR 10-12, and by appointment

Rob Sunderman has been the resident Scenic Designer, Scenic Artist and Associate Professor of Theatre Design at Iowa State University for the past seventeen years and is also a fine artist. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a BFA, MA and MFA in Fine Art. Prior to taking his position at ISU, he was the Scenic Designer, Scenic Artist, Master Carpenter and Technical Director at Iowa Public Television. He has designed and scenic painted over 275 shows during his Theatre/television career.

Rob has received Iowa Film Awards, National Broadcasting Designers Awards and Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival awards for his scenic designs and also many fine art awards. It is not his awards that are of importance to him but the desire to be honest and true to the creative art form he is pursuing at the moment. At ISU Rob teaches Introduction to Theatre Production and Design, Design I, Scenic Design, Stagecraft II, Scenic Painting and various Independent Study classes. He also has taught fine art classes at the Des Moines Art Center for past 22 years, teaching a class there again this fall. Rob is dedicated to bringing out and nurturing the creative soul within all his students and colleagues. He continues to pursue his scholarly work for regional/national theatre, opera, TV, industrial events and various fine art venues.

This past year he designed and painted the sets for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s productions of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci; ISU Theatre’s productions of Mr. Burns: a post-electric play, Cabaret and The Tempest; Cedar Rapids Revival Theatre Company’s production of Grey Gardens, and scenic painted for Allstate Insurance Company International Conference. This coming year he is designing and painting the sets for Iowa State University Theatre’s productions of Out of the Fire: The Banned Books Monologues, A Christmas Carol and Oklahoma! as well as Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Turandot.

Rob has exhibited and sold his fine art work in numerous galleries regionally and nationally. He recently has been working on a number of fine art series of work centered around renewal, fleeting moments, and the human intervention of natural cycles in a variety of mediums. One of his favorite quotes is from Leonardo DaVince “Art is never finished it is only abandoned”. Rob’s Scenic Design and Fine Art work can be found at

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