Photography: Sarah Marguier
Hi there. Thanks for dropping in.
I’m a visual artist and live-event creator who often (but not always) works as a Lighting Designer for theater, dance, opera, and immersive experiences. My projects have ranged from creating building-wide site-responsive environments, to illuminating scenes for stages of all sizes, to stadium-wide wireless network deployments, to developing cross-continental digital collaboration solutions.
I’ve created work across the United States, Europe, and Asia, including recent designs with Portland Center Stage, Portland Opera, Artists Repertory Theatre, Oklahoma Contemporary, American Dance Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Profile Theatre, Third Angle, Ars Nova, Theater Freiburg, Shanghai Center Grand, Non-Stop Wroclaw, and the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival.
I’m proud to be a Founding Member of New York City’s Woodshed Collective, where I’ve designed numerous immersive environments including the 53-room installation of The Tenant. I’m also an Open Space company member at Portland’s Third Rail Rep and a frequent artistic collaborator and conceptual consultant with Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.
Outside the field of stage lighting, I’ve toured in various production capacities with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Bon Iver, and The National. I’m also a skilled web designer for portfolio websites (like this one!) and virtual experiences. I have expertise in 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and database management platforms to create customized solutions for any theatrical application.
I’ve taught Design and Stagecraft courses at Portland State University, and served as a Guest Lecturer and Teaching Artist at Playwrights Horizons Theater School (NYU/Tisch), Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles), and The Catlin Gabel School (Portland).
I continue to work as a freelance Associate/Assistant Designer, supporting Brian MacDevitt, Justin Townsend, Ken Posner, Robert Wierzel, Ann G. Wrightson, Duane Schuler, Rui Rita, Connie Yun, and Ben Stanton on numerous projects, including the Broadway productions of The Book of Mormon, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and August: Osage County. Since 2017, I’ve been the Resident Assistant Lighting Designer at the Portland Opera.
I use he/him pronouns, and I’m based out of Portland, Oregon, where Sarah Marguier and I are raising a family.
I’m a big believer in sharing what works. Here are some of my favorite products, applications, and services.
Full Disclosure: some of these linked products offer commissions for online referrals. As a working artist, passive income generated in this way allows me to dedicate more time pursuing the things that really interest me. These are my honest recommendations and the commissions are modest.
- 2020 MacBookPro 13″: handles complex drawing and rendering with ease. Pre-M1 chip, so the battery life leaves a little to be desired, but otherwise excellent.
- 2021 iPhone SE (II): I held out with a 5S for as long as I could.
- 2017 iPad (5th Gen): Showing it’s age, but still works just fine for what I need: iRFR, Duet external monitor, Lightwright Touch, and TouchPortal macro deck for running OBS broadcasts.
- AirPods Pro (2022): Finally upgraded from the wired earbuds and glad I did. The noise cancellation on flights is pretty incredible. I can easily wear these all day.
INSIDE THE COMPUTER
- Vectorworks: over 20 years of experience (since the .mcd days), and critical to my process.
- Lightwright: Industry standard. I use Data Exchange with Vectorworks to keep track of all unit info and EOS Console Link to manage groups.
- FileMaker: Mostly for Followspot Tracking and the occasional custom solution. My rule: if it needs multiple views, FileMaker is the way to go, otherwise its…
- Excel for nearly everything else list-based that gets tracked and printed: Cues, Notes, Presets, Palettes. It’s simple and “old-school”, but my layouts and macros are the most robust and adaptable option for me.
- Evernote: Unshared task lists, show notes, and anything else that doesn’t go to the printer.
- Affinity Photo: No-subscription Adobe alternative. Pay once & done.
- Banktivity for personal finance and QuickBooks for my business.
- VDMX 5 and Davinci Resolve are my go-tos for video production. Both are incredibly powerful with great support.
- Uplift V2 Standing Desk Frame on an Ikea tabletop
- Logitech K780 Keyboard & MX Master 2S Mouse. Both can easily toggle between multiple devices.
- Synology DS220+ NAS running Network Time Machine back-ups and a Plex Media Server.
- MacMini (Late 2012): Last generation of upgradable RAM & swappable HDs. Now that I have a NAS, I don’t use this old-timer much except for tethering ETC Augment3D rendering when pre-vizing.
ON THE GO & AT THE TECH TABLE
- Clipboard, AKA my 2nd brain. I was taught early in my assisting career to follow the designer everywhere (with a few exceptions) and any question should be answered in seconds. I find enormous plots cumbersome and screens slower than paper, so everything important gets printed and travels with me, always.
- Surefire EB1 Flashlight: I’ve carried this thing in my pocket for years and it’s the most useful tool in my life, period. I take it everywhere and use it daily. My EB1 is discontinued, but the newer (and confusingly-named) E1B is just as good.
- Pelican 1510 for all my tech table supplies and an iM2950 for my Chamsys rig. Both have battle scars but keep rolling.
- Chrome makes fantastic gear that lasts forever. I used a Citizen Messenger in New York and switched to a Volcan Backpack when my life entered a Baby Bjorn phase.
- Telex PH-88 headset is the best balance of weight, cost, and compatibility with Clear-Com systems.
- Boyt Luggage: if we’re friends, you’ve heard my monologue…these bags are incredible and have a lifetime warranty including airline damage. Sadly they were acquired by Samsonite and everything went downhill, so I’ve moved over to a TravelPro line with comparable quality/support.
- Cherry G86 Keyboard: customized with macro hotkeys to use with ETC EOS. I do all my offline programming with this and it’s fantastic to have a full QWERTY keyboard and macro buttons so I’m not trying to remember keyboard shortcuts every 3 seconds.
- X-Keys XK-24 Keypad: a smaller, compact version of the G86 that I use at the tech table to navigate displays.
- ETCNomad 2-Universe Dongle: Turns any laptop into a light board. If you’re like me and you find yourself in DIY situations a lot, this is invaluable.
- Enttec Network DMX Node: The USB nodes are cheaper, but I prefer the network models that can output from EOS Nomad or Chamsys MagicQ, and include a DMX input so a pixel controller can receive hard-wire DMX.
- A pair of Rosco iCues with City Theatrical DMX Irises. I (still!) use these all the time on my own shows, and occasionally rent them out.
- Chamsys MagicQ PC Wing Compact: For live music busking without a full-size console, I think Chamsys has the edge over EOS Nomad.
- T-Mobile: I know, I know, but if you’re US-based and travel a lot, this is your best option for free international data.
- Dropbox: If a show wants to use Google Drive or Sharepoint, fine, but I predominantly use and strongly prefer Dropbox. If a show uses Box.com, I charge double (kidding, but also…not).
- Athos Insurance: All my equipment and especially the gear I rent is covered under an Inland Marine policy here.
This site was built by me, Carl Faber, on Wordpress, using (a heavily modified) Kalium theme, which I highly recommend for theater artists seeking to showcase their work. If you need a website and don’t know where to start, let’s talk.
The fantastically talented photographers with work on this site include: Blair Getz Mezibov, Cory Weaver, Craig Mitchelldyer, David Kinder, Dru Holley, Intisar Abioto, Karen Snyder, Kate Szrom, Liz Wade, Marc Doradzillo, Mark Daniels, Owen Carey, Richard Anderson, Russell J. Young, Sam Ortega, Sarah Marguier, and Trace Downen. Photography credit is listed on each production’s gallery page.
Inspiration for this site drawn from many colleagues with whom I’ve worked alongside or admired from afar, including: Cory Pattak, Jen Schreiver, Ben Krall, Mike Wood, Mark LaPierre, Michael Olich, Sol Weisbard, Rob Ross, Jake DeGroot, Paul Toben, Ben Stanton, and Christopher Mumaw.