About Sean

I am a designer and consultant specializing in creating dramatic environments for architainment and live production

Bio

 

Currently based in Mesa, Arizona, I am the Technical Director and Theme Designer (lighting and staging) for Central Christian Church, a large, multi-site church in the Phoenix Metro area. We currently have 5 locations where I am responsible for designing lighting and staging for the weekend service and special events, as well as maintaining all lighting systems for every performance and meeting space across all 5 campuses.

Most recently, I was the Resident Lighting and Sound Designer for the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre for just over 3 seasons, where the full-time, professional staff produced a 14 show season.

I have had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with many professional theatre, dance, and production companies including The Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Central Christian Church, Arizona State Museum, The Arizona Repertory Theatre, and the Brown County Playhouse.

My credits include designs for over 100 productions covering lighting, sound, and projections. In addition, I have served as designer for numerous worship services, concerts, recitals, meetings, and smaller one-off events.

I was honored to be a finalist for the Hemsley Lighting Internship in New York.

I received my BFA in Theatre Production from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and my MFA in Lighting Design from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Lighting Design Philosophy

 

Light is completely imperceptible in a void; without elements to illuminate, light is simply a brush without a canvas.

Lighting design is a collaborative art.

Since light has a profound impact on the artistic choices of the other designers, collaboration is key. Honest collaboration creates striking art; no artistic unity can exist without it.

Lighting design choices should not draw undue attention to themselves. Lighting should enhance and support the story and action onstage; it should not upstage.

There are exceptions to every rule.

Stunning lighting comes not only from static looks, but also largely from the transition into and out of those looks.

Good orchestration creates dynamic changes and convincing transitions.

Lighting design needs to strive to support and enhance the visual experience of the audience through collaboration with the entire production team.

Light alone is not art.

Teaching Philosophy

 

Learning is a lifelong endeavor; graduation is not the end of education. Teachers are not simply charged with the responsibility of providing the immediate learning environment and motivation for their students, but teachers are additionally charged with instilling within students the thirst for future personal development.

Scholarship is not, and should not be, bound by time, locale, method, or individual. Every student has his or her own method of learning; I believe teachers should be willing and able to adapt to different learning styles. It is the teacher’s responsibility to incorporate all three learning styles into their curriculum. This makes information more accessible for all students, in addition to helping reinforce the covered material. My methods utilize mechanisms that cover the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. The use of lectures, visual aids, and hands-on participation allow all students the opportunity to access information in a method that best suits their learning style.

Students are individuals. Although there exists an agreed upon standard of achievement, there are many paths on the journey toward achievement. I believe that teachers need to allow for the individual personalities of their individual students to guide them to achievement.

Theatre is an artistic field where the end product is evaluated subjectively. As a teacher I identify and provide to my students my objective and subjective evaluation criteria. However, I also believe in allowing students the opportunity to break the mold and let their own personality, life experiences, and style guide them. Having clear and identified evaluation criteria, my students are not only provided a rubric for success but additionally an explanation of expectations; students will know what is expected, but will have the ability to define their approach toward finding solutions.

Theatre, and the world in general, is a deadline-oriented environment; opening night is opening night. As such, being deadline conscious is an imperative characteristic to instill in students. Communication and collaboration is key. Students will be required to communicate effectively inside and out of the classroom. Students will be required to collaborate with others.

Academic theatre and “real-world” theatre have different needs and expectations; both legitimate, and purposeful in approach Students need to learn practices that will allow them to succeed in both environments. I believe a teacher needs to work professionally whenever possible in order to maintain a connection to the theatrical world outside the academic institution. Working professionally brings new insight and creative energy to the classroom setting.

Live events are my passion. It is that passion that I pass onto my students. Doing something that you love makes getting up every day more enjoyable, it makes lifelong interpersonal connections, and it makes the world a better place. Students yearn to share that passion, teachers should ignite that passion, not snuff it out.