franne and buddha

About Franne


Franne Lee is a well-known award-winning production and costume designer for theatre, TV, and Film. In the past decade she has also gained a reputation as an artist.

Franne Lee’s professional design career started in the theatre in New York, with Andre Gregory’s “Alice in Wonderland,” for which she received an Obie Award for costumes. Her many Broadway shows include Hal Prince’s productions of “Candide” and “Sweeney Todd,” for both she received Tony Awards for Costume and Set Design.

Her movie credits include John Sayles’ “Baby, It’s You,” Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony,” David Lynch’s “Industrial Symphony #1,”.  “The Local Stigmatic” and “Chinese Coffee,” both produced, directed, and starring Al Pacino.

Franne’s many TV credits include the first five years of Saturday Night Live, for which she won an Emmy award for Production/Costume Design. She’s created the looks for many of the best-loved SNL characters, such as the Killer Bees, the Coneheads, the Blues Brothers, the Nerds, Emily Litella, and Roseanne Roseannadanna. She moved to LA in 1995, where she worked on “The Stephanie Miller Show” for Disney-Buena Vista, “Sherman Oaks” for Showtime, and Roseanne’s talk show for King World.


Nashville, TN.

2001-2012 Watkins College of Art, Film and Design – Production Design in the Film Dept.

2003-2011 Belmont University – Costume and Set Design in the Theatre Dept.

In 1999, Franne moved to Nashville, where she did production design for TV, Music Videos, Commercials, and local theatre, she created the costumes for “Waiting for Godot” for the People’s Branch Theatre. For the Nashville Shakespeare Festival she designed the costumes for “Hamlet” and “Romeo & Juliet”. She was also an adjunct professor at Belmont Univ. in the Theatre Dept. for 10 years and at Watkins School of Art, Design and Film teaching Film Design for 8 years.

In the fall of 2008 she was a participant in “Curtain Call: Celebrating A Century of 100 Outstanding Woman Designers for Live Performance,” at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, where they displayed her designs for “Sweeney Todd”, “Candide” “A Winter’s Tale,” and “Gilda Radner Live.”

Franne started Plowhaus Artist Co-op for 8 years. Before leaving Nashville, she designed costumes for “The Cripple of Inishmaan” at Palm Beach Dramaworks.

Franne moved to Florida in the fall of 2017, while designing costumes for “Born Yesterday” at the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre, and designed costumes for “Equus” at the Palm Beach Dramaworks. In Sept. 2020, she designed “The Birds” at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Fl. 

This summer, she is going to Richmond, In. to design two Shakespeare plays, “Hamlet” and “The Tempest” and this fall will be designing again for The Garden Theatre doing “Death Trap”.

She belongs to an artist co-op in Lake Worth, Fl. called The Artesian.

Selected Shows & Exhibitions

Mar. 2020 “in Perfect Harmony” First place Hatch Art Show, L.W.B, Fl. 

Nov. 2019 “Inspecting Carol” Lake Worth Playhouse, Fl. Costumes

July 2019 “Hamlet” & “The Tempest” Richmond Shakespeare Festival 

Oct. 2018 “The Birds” Garden Theatre, Winter Garden, Fl. Costumes

May 2018 – “Equus” Palm Beach Dramaworks, W.P.B., Fl. Costumes

Nov. 2017 “Born Yesterday” Maltz-Jupiter Theatre, Jupiter, Fl. Cost. 

May 2017  “Cripple of Inishmaan”  Palm Beach Dramaworks, Cost.  

Feb. 2015 – “The Music Lesson”, Children’s Theater Costume Design

Nov. 2014 – “From Up Here”, Forward Theatre Co. – Costume Design

May 2014 – “Kiss Me Kate” at U.W. Waukesha Campus – Costumes 

Mar. 2012 – “Omo Children” Long Branch Gallery, – Paintings

Oct. 2011 – “Tartuffe”, Belmont Univ. Nashville TN – Costume Design

Feb. 2011 – “Omo Children” at Alan LeQuire Gallery, in Nashville TN – 

Jun. 2010 – Microphone Rack Bike Rack, Nashville Public Art Award 

Apr. 2010 – “The Nature of Things” at Long Branch Gallery – Paintings

Dec. 2009 – “The Man Behind the Apron”  Nashville TN  Prod & Costume 

Apr. 2009 – “The Nature of Things”, at Family Wash, Nashville  Paintings

Feb. 2009 – “Uncle Vanya”, Belmont Univ., Nash. TN – Costumes Design

Nov. 2008 – “Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of 100 Outstanding Woman – Designers for Live Performance” at The Lincoln Ctr. Library for the Performing Arts, NYC, NY

Jan. 2008 – “Hamlet”, Shakespeare Festival, Nash. TN –Costume Design

Jan. 2007 – Solo Show “Attitudes”, portraits of East Nash. Icons –Art 

Oct. 2006 – Estel Gallery, Nashville TN, Small Group Show – Paintings

Mar. 2006 – Solo Show 14 pieces, Belcourt Gallery, Nash TN – Paintings

Nov. 2001 – Plowhaus Artist Coop., managing director and artist till 2007 

Jan. 2000 – “Chinese Coffee”, an Al Pacino film –Prod. & Costumes 

Nov. 1990 – “Industrial Symphony No.1”, Dir. David Lynch – Prod.Cost.

Apr. 1987 – “The Local Stigmatic”, an Al Pacino Film – Prod & Costume 

Aug. 1986 – “14 One-Acts” by Shel Silverstein, East Coast Arts Ctr. – C.D.

Oct. 1985 – “Gorilla”, Goodman Theatre, Shel Sliverstein, Prod. & Cost. 

Sept. 1984 – “Wild Life” Dir. Art Wolff,  – Costume Design

May 1983 – “Baby It’s You” a John Sayles Film – Costume Design

Jan. 1980 – “Sweeney Todd” Broadway Musical, Dir. Hal Prince – C.D. 

     Tony award for costumes 1980

Jan. 1978 – “Girl of the Golden West” Chic. Lyric Opera Hal Prince-C.D. 

Jan. 1977 – “Ashmedai” N.Y.C. Opera Co. Dir. Hal Prince – Costumes 

Aug. 1976 – “The Primary English Class” star Diane Keaton,Costumes

Aug. 1975-80 – “Saturday Night Live”, first 5 yrs 1975-80, Prod & Cost.

Jan. 1974 – “Candide” a Broadway Musical, Dir. H. Prince. – Prod& C.D.

    Tony Awards for Prod. and Costume Design 1974

Jun. 1972 – Peter Brooks International Ctr for Theatre Research in Paris

Oct. 1971 – “Alice In Wonderland” Dir. André Gregory – Costume Design