USITT Forum@Four: Design Collaboratories - More Than a Lighting Lab

Because education in the theatre arts is about access to experience, most universities and colleges view their stages as their laboratories, the place where experimentation in design and performance take place. The production schedule, however, usually limits student access to these spaces. Many schools also utilize shops and alternate spaces outfitted with scaled equipment for miniature mock-ups. This session will look at the benefits to a dedicated collaboratory space: a full-scale classroom outfitted for design performance design education and experimentation. The panel will examine the unique case-study of the new, innovative, half tension-wire-grid/half motorized rigging, two-story hybrid designer's “collab-lab” at Texas Tech University. Thanks to our exhibitor for bringing us this session.



Go Live Information
Go Live Date:
May 06, 2020
Speaker Information

William Kenyon

Professor Kenyon serves as Head of the Lighting Design Program at Penn State. An active professional designer with over 150 designs for theatre, dance, opera, and musicals to his credit, Prof. Kenyon has recently designed the lighting for several Penn State locations, including the 2013 re-creation of the iconic Nittany Lion Shrine, the Art Room in Schreyer House, and the new theatre space incorporated into the Tank 5 water tower adjacent to the SALA Building. Prof. Kenyon is also the author of the new textbook, Theatre & Stage Photography, and offers stage photo workshops around the world. Prof. Kenyon’s recent production work includes performances at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Wolftrap, and the Qatar International Arts Festival. He has also designed for The Hangar Theatre, The Metropolitan Playhouse, Opera Delaware, Ballet Theatre of Central Pennsylvania, Nebraska Rep, Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, Opera Omaha, University of Iowa, and MTI-Disney. Prof. Kenyon has been involved in Native American theatre and dance for over 15 years, serving as resident LD for the American Indian Dance Theatre, and was involved in the complete reimagining of “Unto These Hills”, a massive outdoor spectacle celebrating the history of the Cherokee. Prior to Penn State, William taught Lighting & Sound Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prof. Kenyon received his BFA from the University of Connecticut, having studied with Jim Franklin, and his MFA from Brandeis University, having studied with Bob Moody, Dennis Parichy, and Karl Eigsti. Prof. Kenyon serves as Chair of a newly-created History & Heritage Committee with USITT, and was recently elected Chair of the OISTAT Education Commission. Member of USITT, OISTAT, IALD, IESNA, and USAA Local #829 in the areas of Lighting and Sound Design


Andrea Bilkey

Andrea Bilkey is an associate dean at the J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts and an associate professor of design at Texas Tech University School of Theatre & Dance, focusing on: lighting design, computer drafting and design, theatre planning, technology in the classroom, and technology in the design communication process. Research interests also include the history of lighting and she is an active participant in the Stage Lighting Archives at the Pennsylvania State University.


Jack Hagler

Jack Hagler has over 30 years experience as a designer, technician, contractor and consultant for a variety of assembly facilities. Jack's projects benefit greatly from his planning, design and project management services founded on broad experience and deep knowledge gained from working and designing a variety of assembly venues. Jack is continually broadening his knowledge of performing arts venue design and operation through his very active participation in the American Society of Theatre Consultants and the International Association of Venue Managers.

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Design Collaboratories More Than a Lighting Lab
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