David J. McKennan, principal of Blue Hill Design, Inc., production electrician, moving light programmer, and stagehand, died Friday, September 5th in Ellsworth, Maine. He was 46.
McKennan started his career as a carpenter and electrician in regional theatre. He worked as a staff electrician at the New York Shakespeare Festival from 1980-1982, after which he served his IATSE Local One apprenticeship at the Joyce Theatre. He worked primarily as a Broadway stagehand until 1997, after which he became head technician at the New Victory Theatre. Following his time there, he trained as a moving light programmer and he and his wife, lighting designer Betsy Adams, formed Blue Hill Design in order to work together on industrials and special events.
McKennan was constantly extending his education on many fronts. He graduated magna cum laude from City College of New York in 1992 with a B.S. in physics and mathematics; he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa upon graduation, and he completed a year of graduate study in physics at New York University.
He received an intermediate certificate in Wholehog programming, trained as an automation operator and was a certified Class B laser operator. He also received a certificate in labor relations from the Cornell School of Labor Relations.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his parents Bob and Doris, brother and sister-in-law Don and Jane, sister Debbie, and in-laws Mason and Margot Adams and Bill Adams and Alix Pearlstein.
Memorial services will be held Sunday, September 28th from 7-8:30PM at Matawan United Methodist Church, 478 Atlantic Ave., Aberdeen, NJ and Monday, September 29th from 6-8PM at City Center in Manhattan (55th St. between 6th & 7th Aves.)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Community Funds, Inc. for the Dave McKennan Memorial Fund, Two Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016.