Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Current project(s): Through the Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Internship, I spent the summer at Lincoln Center Festival working as an assistant on Monkey: Journey To The West. I am currently at the San Francisco Opera, serving as the second assistant on Falstaff and The Flying Dutchman and as the assistant designer on The Verdi Requiem and The Barber of Seville.
Most notable achievements: I received my MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2013 and was selected as the 30th Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Intern. I also served as the resident lighting designer for Festival 56 in Princeton, Illinois for four seasons and am an active member of The November Ten company of artists, the producing arm behind Festival 56.
When I started in this industry: Following my graduation from Wake Forest University, I spent the summer on the electrics crew at Seaside Music Theatre and then fulfilled a nine-month design internship at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis.
How I got into this industry: My relationship with theatre began at a very young age, but I did not discover lighting until college. During my undergraduate tenure, I began working in the scene shop to increase my knowledge of technical theatre. When our technical director said they needed to train a student to take over as the master electrician, I volunteered driven by sheer curiosity and a desire to learn something new. I never could have imagined that it would result in a career as a designer.
Influences: Visually, I have been drawn to the work of James Turrell, Edward Hopper, and Orson Welles. My professors and mentors have impacted my growth as a designer, specifically Kenton Yeager, Scott Cooper, Joe Payne, and Jon Christman. Fellow designers and directors never fail to spark and inspire my own creative process.
Worst advice I’ve ever heard: “Don’t use green.”
Best advice I’ve ever heard: “Always make sure there is food at the tech table.”
My favorite thing about the production industry: The people. Not just the people with whom I work, but also those whose stories we are working to tell. I love seeing the world from new viewpoints, growing as both an artist and member of society through my interaction and collaboration with a variety of individuals.
Favorite design/programming/technical trick: It is not really a trick, per se, but working to sync up the timing and transitions is always thrilling. Feeling the rhythm of the actors, connecting to the breath of each moment, and tying those elements together with lighting, sound, and projections creates such an impact.
Plans for the future: In November, I will be returning to New York City to work with Alvin Ailey Dance and NYC Ballet. I love what I do and am excited to continue along this path by remaining open to new opportunities and possibilities.
Other interests/side gigs: I enjoy photography, both as a hobby and as a way to document my work, as well as branching into the areas of video editing and projection design. Cooking, running, and traveling contribute to my enjoyment of life in general.
Awards, honors: Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Internship; USITT Young Designers’ Forum; SETC Graduate Lighting Design, 1st place for Dead Man’s Cell Phone (2013) and Phaedra (2012); Clarence and Marian Brown Career Development Award; Robert Porterfield Graduate Scholarship